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Mind Control Car Racing Game by Emotiv Insight at CES 2015

Mind Control Car Racing Game by Emotiv Insight at CES 2015

Jan 14, 2015

At the CES Conference last week, Emotiv Insight brainwear exhibited with IEEE an organization dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity at the conference in Las Vegas, NV. This year’s theme at the IEEE exhibit is “Thinking Forward” sparking the future of thinking-forward technologies. “Thinking” was the suitable word for the mind controlled car racing game that was demonstrated by Emotiv a bioinformatics company advancing the understanding of the human brain using electroencephalography (EEG). The revolutionary groundbreaking technology by Emotiv showcased their latest product called Insight that is launching April 2015 starting at $299. Consumers at CES were able to try out the headset while using there own brainpower to participate in a car race propelling their car forward with their thoughts. QGITS met and spoke with CEO Geoff Mackellar of Emotiv at CES during the Showstoppers press preview event at the Wynn Hotel in Vegas.

QGITS: What is Emotiv?

Geoff Mackellar: The Emotiv headsets are based on electroencephalography which is basically picking up small electrical signals on the outside of the skull that originate from large number of neurons inside of the skull all firing in sync. The sort of signal that we see inside of the skull are a few volts but when all the neurons start firing together and by putting some electrodes on the outside of the skull on the skin, that can detect micro volts floating on the surface of the head. We made Emotiv Insight consumer friendly that is sleek so that you can move around and act like it’s not there compared to a typical medical EEG system that involves a lot of wires on the head, gel and a couple of hours to set up. We created the next generation of brainwear that reads your brainwaves that can track and monitor your brain activity. It allows you to optimize your brain fitness & performance, measure and monitor your own or your family’s cognitive health & wellbeing connected to a mobile app that translates those signals.


QGITS: How does the mind controlled demo car race work?

Geoff Mackellar: It all starts back with the data coming from the headset and we built a number of different interfaces for the data and project detection systems. How the car race works is you basically decide how you want to command your car. What sort of mental map you want to use. So you might visualize driving the car, pushing it or doing some sort of other thing or maybe decide on something completely different, like thinking about elephants. As long as you have a consistent thought, we can record what you want to use as your mental command and we have a machine learning system to recognize when you are thinking your mental command and when you are not. With the Insight suite you can program up to 4 distinct commands quite easily, some people can handle 7 or 8. Quite generally it takes a fair amount of skill and practice to get up to 3 active commands. For the car race demo it’s quite simple, only using a single command. Our switch actually puts out a trigger signal where it puts out a command that is sent over through a usb to a processor that acts like a wireless remote to a go forward like button, then the computer sets the command that turns the switch and off goes the car.


QGITS:  What else is Emotiv working on?

Geoff Mackellar: We have released the 1st Epoch product in 2009. It’s been used extensively in a lot of different areas. It’s probably most exciting areas of research with things like fighting neurological disorders, enhancing learning and even helping the disabled move things in the physical world with the power of the mind.

QGITS: Anything else about Emotiv?

Geoff Mackellar: We had a very big Kickstarter campaign to help us develop it and build a community. We have close to 5K people that actually contributed to the campaign with a record amount of money raised. Now working through supplying the kickstarter backers with rewards and we expect to be in full production by spring.

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