The Emotiv team are veterans when it comes to brainwave-reading headsets.
Back in 2010, the company presented a rough version of what would later transform into the Insight, demonstrating with a TED talk the possibilities of the technology.
And now Emotiv is back, with a new Insight headset and a Kickstarter that has already blown past its crowdfunding goal of $US100,000 — our last count had the campaign at over $US250,000.
But how does it work, and what can it do?
The Insight is a sleeker, more advanced version of the headset presented at the TED conference. Utilising five sensors that attach to your head, the Insight monitors the electrical impulses that your brain releases, turning this information into usable data.
For example, if you were playing a video game and wanted to map a brain command to make your character run forward, you could hypothetically record yourself visualising the ‘forward’ command.
Once the Insight headset can recognise your ‘forward’ thought, it could be taught to move your game character forward each time you think it.
Besides being able to recognise up to four mental commands, the Insight can also turn facial expressions such as winking, smiling, and blinking into commands.
Gaming is only one aspect of what the Insight is capable of — the company is billing the Insight as a device to “optimise your brain fitness & performance, measure and monitor your own or your family’s cognitive health & wellbeing, and develop amazing new applications.”
And while applications implementing direct integration with the Insight are scarce, Emotiv is hoping that a successful Kickstarter will put enough developer units in people’s hands early enough to have a solid app selection upon launch.
You can pre-order an Insight starting at $US199 over at their Kickstarter page, with an estimated delivery of March 2014.