Tan Le dreamed of operating machines using only thought. Now her £200 Epoc headset is redefining brain-computing interaction.
The Epoc is a form-fitting, 14-sensor electroencephalography (EEG) headset that lets people control their computers without touching a key. Though it’s not the only such product on the market, the Epoc has become the device that’s garnering the most praise and attention at tech conferences and laboratories across the world (I can confirm it as a true statement, I am working with it at KU Leuven).
For years now, numerous tech companies have been involved in a race to bring to market portable devices that read brainwaves in a way similar to how hospital EEG machines work, but at a much lower cost.
One device, tested this year at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne in Switzerland is for a mind operated wheelchair. In addition to the mind-operated wheelchairs, there are robot arms and countless games in the works — nearly as many applications of brain control as, well, anyone’s mind can imagine:
- A program to control a Rovio robot via a Skype connection.
- “NeuroPhone”, which can, among other things, dial a number based on the user merely seeing a picture of the person they want to call (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth).
- Military neuro-prosthetics
Emotiv has over 10,000 clients, ranging from home tinkerers to Boeing, car companies and a billion-dollar perfumery concern.