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VWN VR Interface Overviews: Mind Flex
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VR Interfaces: Mind Flex

Overview

Overview of Mind Flex
Debuted at CES 2009, mind flex is a Mattel thought controlled child's toy. Using simple brainwave detection technology, the mind flex is a game. A round obstacle course has a series of hoops, tunnels and cages set up. More can be added, or some taken away, according to the player's desire for difficulty. Under them, below a grille, is a single, fairly powerful fan. A small plastic, purple ping-pong ball is used to play the game, whose simple objective is to spin the fan just hard enough to allow the ball to reach the right height to pass each of the objectives.

The fan is controlled by a headset the player wears. Three sensors monitor concentration levels. One sensor against the player's forehead; two more clip onto the earlobes. The sensors measure theta-wave activity in the brain; waves that are directly related to the level of focus and concentration.

It really does not matter what the player concentrates on, so long that they concentrate. There is a noticeable lag, as with all first-generation commercial mind-reading equipment, as the software works out the relative level of concentration. After a second or so, the fan responds, revving up proportional to its maximum speed based on the device's interpretation of how hard the player is concentrating.

To speed it up, work on a mental puzzle or problem a bit harder. To slow it down, look away, and clear the mind.

The fan controls height only. To move along the obstacle course, a dial on the front of the device is manually turned, rotating the course towards the floating ball. Of course, if the player stops concentrating to turn the knob, the ball will falter and fall.
Mind flex has been cleared for sale in the US, from October 2009. Priced at 100 usd, preorders are possible, only for the US system. It is still not available with no plans to release, in the EU.


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