With just a small wireless headset and a lot of concentration, Haier’s BrainWave TV lets users play mind-controlled video games.
The BrainWave’s headset hangs over the head and has one extension that presses up against your forehead, and another that clips onto an earlobe. For the headset, Haier used technology from a company called NeuroSky, which reads electrical signals through the scalp and translates them into digital signals. “It doesn’t read your mind or read your thoughts, or anything like that,” said Kenji Higa, Product Specialist for Haier’s Digital Products Group.
In the game I played at CES, filling a meter with brain activity caused a dude in a flying saucer to drop bombs on evil factories below. I gave it my best shot, but mostly failed. Haier says you need a relaxed mind and a dry forehead, and I had neither while a crowd of people watched my feeble attempts at mind control. Still, there were a few glorious moments where it felt like my thoughts were translating into the desired effect. Whether my fleeting success was actually happening the way Haier intended, or just a coincidence, I’ll never know.
Eventually, Haier wants to add more features to the BrainWave TV, such as the ability to change channels by thinking about it. But for now, mind control is limited to just games. The BrainWave TV is already available in China for the equivalent of roughly $3,000, but there are no plans to bring it stateside.