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I remember the first time I controlled a computer with my brain. It was in 2008 at Institute for the Future and Neurosky's CEO Stanley Yang was visiting to demonstrate their system mobile headset and software that measures brainwaves and translates that information into a digital signal. I played a very simple game and quickly trained myself to levitate objects by harnessing the power of The Force (in the game, anyway). Five years later and there are dozens of games, music, art, and meditation apps available for the Neurosky tech. What I'm most excited about though is Neurosky's enthusiasm about maker culture through their free developer tools. Any new technology always gets more interesting once the hackers and artists get hold of it. For example, above is Guvenc Ozel's Cerebral Hut, a kinetic art installation where the room's shape physically changes form based on the brainwaves of the visitor who dons a Neurosky headset.
Neurosky was at this year's Maker Faire Bay Area. The big draw at their booth was the Necomini brain-controlled cat ears. Their maker, Neurowear, sells a tail now too.
Also spotted at Maker Faire was the Puzzlebox Orbit, a mind-controlled drone. It's from the folks behind Puzzlebox Brainstorms, open source software for brain-computer interfaces and neuroscience education. After publishing free plans and code for controlling RC helicopters via brainwave data from NeuroSky and Emotive headsets, they Kickstarted the Puzzlebox Orbit as a finished product late last year. Their goal was $10,000 and they ended with nearly $75,000. The Puzzlebox Orbit is now on sale $250. The best part is that you can still build your own by following the HOWTO over at Instructables.
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
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