Mind Technologies thinks big. It has declared it will bring "thought-controlled applications" to the Android market. It also plans to build an alternative to the strange-but-true Emotiv headset that allows thought to operate machines.
Mind Technologies currently makes a trifecta of "thought-controlled" devices and applications for the PC all of which rely on Emotiv's electroencephalogram (EEG) headset. Last month, it released its third product, a game controller named Master Mind. CEO Brent Fouch contends that thought-controlled games are faster to operate. Downside: say good-bye for the need for, and development of, hand-eye coordination. The company also sells a mouse named Mind Mouse and a Tic Tac Toe game. It's all a bit pricey for the casual, curious type. The Emotiv headset costs $300 and the Mind Technologies mouse or game controller will set you back another $100 each.
UPDATED 11/29/2010: Details on Mind Technologies' specific plans to create EEG Android apps are scarce.
though we are pressing the company to tell us more. CEO Brent Fouch told us, "We believe it will be 3-4 months for the headset technology to
be available. Mind Technologies’ will be compatible with Android to
utilize mobile apps. Our headset will utilize advanced technologies to
reduce the dirty noise and isolate the signal we are seeking," he said,
adding: "The Emotiv headset is not compatible with Android. However, we
will still continue development for the Emotiv platform, as we have an
established client base that looks forward to new apps associated with
the Emotiv headset they currently own."
Fouch has released a succession of statements that offer more insight into his plans. He got his company listed on the European Stock Exchange and this, Fouch believes, will let him to raise up to $15 million in capital to build the new headsets, get the Android drivers and applications built and so on. Given that Mind Technologies (formerly called Jedi Mind) trades as an OTC penny stock (yes, it literally costs a penny), we are skeptical that Fouch will be able to pull off his grand vision.
Nevertheless EEG headsets are legit. Mind Technologies wouldn't even be the first company to offer an alternative to Emotiv. OTZ Technology has been selling its NIA (Neural Impulse Actuator) game controller for about a year now. Our lengthy review of the NIA confirmed that it worked, though it required a long, and strange, learning curve.
If the technology becomes easier to master, it may prove a natural fit for the mobile market. Such a mobile device (brings new meaning to the word smartphone, doesn't it?) could perhaps eliminate some of our distracted driving issues. And given its name and open source status, isn't Android the ideal mobile platform to get thought-controlled apps first?