I had a great meeting earlier today at GDC 2011 with NeuroSky. They make devices and software that are used to create a brain-computer interface. The current device, Mindwave, is a headset that has a piece that goes on your forehead and a clip that goes on your earlobe. It uses the same technology as an EEG to monitor your brain waves.
The Mindwave is available to the general public for $99 ($79 at GDC) and this is some very cool technology at an aggressive price point. The headset comes bundled with ten applications that are basically learning games that help focus attention and facilitate relaxation. New apps are available through the NeuroSky website.
I also saw Myndplay, a series of original short movies where your concentration and focus help to determine the outcome of the movie.
And there was Brain Athlete which is designed to help athletes concentrate and relax in order to reach the semi-meditative state necessary to succeed. This is only available in Asia for now, but it is coming to the US later this year as soon as they get it to work with mobile devices.
Finally I checked out Puzzlebox which really blew me away. This uses the Mindwave to track the focus and relaxation of play testers during the QA process. This way you can get a greater understanding of what is exciting to players or what is boring as they play through the game. You can correlate these thoughts with specific points in the game. For example, 7 of our testers totally lost interest while they were walking across the bridge. Let’s make the bridge shorter.
I think that Puzzlebox also has applications outside of gaming. Couldn’t an enterprise software developer run a focus group using the same technology?
I love it when my two worlds collide.
Also, photos are on the way. I don’t have a CD drive with me.
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