Mind-controlled architecture, drones, and costume cat tails

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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.



  1.  I’m baffled by the notion that Neurosky’s developer tools show a commendable “enthusiasm for maker culture”.

    Try to download the developer tools and you get a proprietary EULA which forbids reverse engineering, creating derivative works, and using the tools to make software that works with any neuro-interface hardware other than Neurosky’s own. This EULA is totally incompatible with free and open source software development.

    Neurosky clearly wants people outside their company to use their products to develop other products, but “enthusiasm for maker culture”?

    How about documenting their hardware interface so that other people can create interoperable software without legal threats?

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