Healthcare Technology Featured Article

October 19, 2011

MindWave Device Allows Children to Play Video Games with Their Minds

While Microsoft and Sony are doing battle in order to become the most popular video game system in the world, another company is getting set to launch a new kind of video game system all together. Focus Pocus changes the way video games are played because instead of having to use your hands to control the action on the screen, this device will actually read brainwaves and take different actions. In short, Focus Pocus allows you to control the game using just your mind.

This new kind of device would put all the handheld games, as well as console games to shame simply because there are very few devices that scream “future” more than one that is moved with your mind. The device is built to help children between the ages of seven and 13 improve their impulse control, memory, relaxation techniques and attention. Australian developer Dr. Stuart Johnstone says that he first came up with the concept when he listened to parents of children with ADD voice their concerns about overmedicating their children. Johnstone paired up with Silicon Valley based computer interface company NeuroSky, Australian based neurocognitive software maker NeuroCog, and the London based computer gaming company roll7. 

Players wear a headset which is being called “MindWave” which connects wirelessly to a computer. The device uses electroencephalographic (EEG) tech to read brainwaves from the pre-fontal cortex. The MindWave uses on sensor that is attached to the forehead and two more that are clipped to the ear. Once a child is playing the game, they will take on the roll of apprentice wizard and go through 12 different mini-games that require the player to think in a certain way. Some of the games involve putting a hex on their enemy by remembering where a library book was stored. Players can also fly around on their broom by concentrating. 

The best part is that parents have access to a list of daily reports that will illustrate how the child is concentrating and behaving while playing the game. The MindWave currently costs $249 and is playable on any Windows PC. The device is currently not compatible with Apple devices.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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