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DATE 2008-06-01

HANGOUT

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MESSAGE
DATE 2008-06-08
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Empathic Computing
From lest-hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com Sun Jun 8 06:18:37 2008
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From: Ruben Safir
To: hangout-at-mrbrklyn.com
Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Empathic Computing
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June 8, 2008 Novelties Moving Mountains With the Brain, Not a Joystick
By ANNE EISENBERG

STILL using a mouse, keyboard, joystick or motion sensor to control the
action in a video game? It may be time to try brain power instead.

A new headset system picks up electrical activity from the brain, as well
as from facial muscles and other spots, and translates it into on-screen
commands. This lets players vanquish villains not with a click, but with
a thought.

Put on the headset, made by Emotiv Systems in San Francisco, and when
a giant boulder blocks the path in a game you are playing, you can
levitate it — not by something as crude as a keystroke, but just by
concentrating on raising it, said Tan Le, Emotiv’s president. The
headset captures electrical signals when you concentrate; then the
computer processes these signals and pairs a screen action with them,
like lifting a stone or repairing a falling bridge.

The headset is the consumer cousin of brain-computer interfaces developed
in research labs and used, for example, by monkeys who manipulate
prosthetic arms with thoughts. The monkeys’ intentions are detected by
sensors, translated into machine language and used to move the arm. In
general, some interfaces use sensors implanted directly in the brain;
others use electrode-studded caps.

For humans, Emotiv plans to have its noninvasive, wireless EPOC
headset ($299) on sale in time for Christmas, Ms. Le said. With 16
sensors that lightly touch the head, it uses a standard technology,
electroencephalography, or EEG, to pick up electrical signals from the
scalp’s surface and convert them to actions that control or enhance
what happens on screen.

To help players master the art of moving on-screen objects solely through
concentration, the headset will come bundled with a game, set on a magical
mountain, that includes practice exercises, said Geoffrey Mackellar,
Emotiv’s research and development manager. “You clear the mind,”
he said, and then do 30 to 40 seconds of training, by concentrating,
for instance, on visualizing a block lifting from the earth. “On the
first or second attempt, you can lift it at will.”

Other, harder challenges follow. In constant feedback, he said, the
machine learns more about how users think just as users grow more skillful
at concentrating.

Many game developers are incorporating the EPOC’s biofeedback abilities
into their applications, Ms. Le said.

The system doesn’t just lift boulders. It can also detect some of a
player’s facial expressions and emotional responses: smile, frown or
wink, for instance, and an avatar on screen can do so, too. Grow bored
during a battle, and the system can detect ennui and supply a few dragons,
or change the music. The device tracks a total of about 30 responses.

A chip inside the headset collects the signals and sends them wirelessly
to a receiver plugged into a U.S.B. port of the computer, where most of
the processing occurs, Dr. Mackellar said.

The sleek Emotiv headset is a version of the EEG cap used for decades
to record brain electrical activity, said Nathan Fox, a professor of
human development at the University of Maryland.

“There can be as many as 256 electrodes at one time in a cap,” he
said. ‘The placement corresponds in some rough approximation to brain
areas that are underneath the scalp.”

Medical-grade EEG caps are used in research to eavesdrop on the brain
as it plans motion and to translate these plans, for example, into
cursor actions on a screen so paralyzed people can control a computer
to write messages.

The Emotiv headset, too, taps the power of the mind, as well as using
feedback from muscles, Dr. Mackellar said.

“We definitely read brain waves — no doubt about it — but we also
read other things,” he said. “In classical EEG, movements of the
face and muscles are regarded as noise. But we use some of it, rather
than discard it.”

Anton Nijholt, a professor of computer science at the University of Twente
in the Netherlands who does research on innovative interfaces for games,
looks forward to the extra means of interaction that EEG headsets will
provide. But he doesn’t think that all consumers will be able to use
them to raise mountains.

“Not all people are able to display the mental activity necessary to
move an object on a screen,” he said. “Some people may not be able
to imagine movement in a way that EEG can detect.”

So far, Dr. Mackellar said, all 200 testers of the headset had indeed
been able to move on-screen objects mentally.

ANOTHER headset, the Neural Impulse Actuator ($169), just released by
the OCZ Technology Group in Sunnyvale, Calif., has three sensors in a
headband that pick up electrical activity primarily from muscles and
convert it into commands, said Michael Schuette, vice president for
technology development. Players of shooting games, for instance, may
use eye movement to trigger a shot, shaving milliseconds off of their
response time and sparing their hands.

The exact source of the electrical activity the headset is picking up
may not be important, said Dr. Jonathan Wolpaw, chief of the laboratory
for nervous system disorders at the Wadsworth Center of the New York
State Department of Health in Albany. He uses EEG caps as part of
brain-computer interfaces for severely paralyzed people. His systems
record brain activity alone, but for a consumer game device, a cap that
picks up a mixture of brain and muscle activity may be acceptable.

“In a lot of these commercial uses, people don’t care if the activity
is coming from the brain or forehead muscles,” he said. “It doesn’t
matter to them so long as they can play the game.”

E-mail: novelties-at-nytimes.com.

-- http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Interesting Stuff http://www.nylxs.com -
Leadership Development in Free Software

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like
Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world -
RI Safir 1998

http://fairuse.nylxs.com DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS -
RI Safir 2002

"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"

"The tremendous problem we face is that we are becoming sharecroppers
to our own cultural heritage -- we need the ability to participate in
our own society."

"> I'm an engineer. I choose the best tool for the job, politics be
damned.< You must be a stupid engineer then, because politcs and
technology have been attached at the hip since the 1st dynasty in
Ancient Egypt. I guess you missed that one."

© Copyright for the Digital Millennium

  1. 2008-06-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [nyc-at-workatjelly.com: Jelly in Manhattan this Friday, 6/6]
  2. 2008-06-08 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Empathic Computing
  3. 2008-06-08 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] GMAIL - Free Software Models
  4. 2008-06-08 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Cellphone DO kill ....
  5. 2008-06-08 Michael L Richardson <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Cellphone DO kill ....
  6. 2008-06-08 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Bloody Ugly
  7. 2008-06-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [nyc-at-workatjelly.com: Jelly in Brooklyn this Friday, 6/13]
  8. 2008-06-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [notification+zjaayj4y-at-facebookmail.com: "The Rooftop Films Summer Series: June Schedule" sent you a message on Facebook...]
  9. 2008-06-12 From: "armando fonseca" <afonsec2-at-gmail.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] armando fonseca wants to chat
  10. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [KMalhotra-at-council.nyc.gov: Tech in Government Update]
  11. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [meissner-at-suse.de: [security-announce] SUSE Security Announcement: evolution (SUSE-SA:2008:028)]
  12. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [dplist-at-danielpipes.org: #862: Pipes argues "The Enemy Has a Name" in the Jer. Post]
  13. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [meissner-at-suse.de: [security-announce] SUSE Security Summary Report SUSE-SR:2008:013]
  14. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [meissner-at-suse.de: [security-announce] SUSE Security Announcement: Opera 9.50 (SUSE-SA:2008:029)]
  15. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [chief-at-freesoftwaremagazine.com: [Fsm_newsletter] Free Software Magazine newsletter]
  16. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [anthony.weiner-at-congressnewsletter.net: Reminder - Town Hall with Rep. Weiner]
  17. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Geek Dinosaur News
  18. 2008-06-20 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] More Geek stuff - 2000 year old Jew Tree's
  19. 2008-06-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] AP Copyright and Bloggers
  20. 2008-06-21 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Diamonds are a girls best friend
  21. 2008-06-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [jays-at-panix.com: [nylug-talk] Sunday 22 June 2008 NYC Resistors: OLPC Hack Day]
  22. 2008-06-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Tea Lounge
  23. 2008-06-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYLXS Meeting
  24. 2008-06-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com: [nylug-talk] Internships for Teens?]
  25. 2008-06-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] OLPC MS Spin
  26. 2008-06-23 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-mycouponmagic.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYLXS Meeting
  27. 2008-06-23 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [catch152-at-gmail.com: Re; Signing up.]
  28. 2008-06-23 Amy Coleman <acoleman-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Next NYLXS Meeting
  29. 2008-06-23 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Some Brooklyn History with Photo's! Worth a look.
  30. 2008-06-24 Ron Guerin <ron-at-vnetworx.net> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Tea Lounge
  31. 2008-06-24 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [nyc-at-workatjelly.com: Jelly in Brooklyn this Friday, 6/27]
  32. 2008-06-24 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Tea Lounge
  33. 2008-06-24 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Consultants1-at-cgt-consult.com: Open Jobs]
  34. 2008-06-24 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Data Recovery Tools
  35. 2008-06-26 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] News not getting enough press
  36. 2008-06-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Video Production
  37. 2008-06-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] The new DMCA
  38. 2008-06-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] On Line C, Perl and C++ Programming Work Shop
  39. 2008-06-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C Programing Workshop
  40. 2008-06-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [ivaldes-at-hal-pc.org: [Hardhats] Congress Health IT Bill and Cerner Lobbying]y
  41. 2008-06-29 From: "Ronny Abraham" <ronny.coder-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C Programing Workshop
  42. 2008-06-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C Programing Workshop
  43. 2008-06-29 From: "Ronny Abraham" <ronny.coder-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C Programing Workshop
  44. 2008-06-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C Programing Workshop
  45. 2008-06-29 From: "Michael L. Richardson" <mlr52-at-michaellrichardson.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Video Production
  46. 2008-06-29 email <ray-pub-at-rcn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C Programing Workshop
  47. 2008-06-29 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C++ Workshop session 1
  48. 2008-06-30 From: "Ronny Abraham" <ronny.coder-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C Programing Workshop
  49. 2008-06-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] C Programing Workshop
  50. 2008-06-30 swd <sderrick-at-optonline.net> Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Need to get rid of a whole bunch of programming books. TALK ABOUT FREE
  51. 2008-06-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Need to get rid of a whole bunch of programming books. TALK ABOUT FREE SOFTWARE!!!
  52. 2008-06-30 From: "Tameek Henderson" <tameek-at-gmail.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Need to get rid of a whole bunch of programming books. TALK ABOUT FREE SOFTWARE!!!
  53. 2008-06-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Need to get rid of a whole bunch of programming books. TALK ABOUT FREE SOFTWARE!!!

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