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Goodbye touchscreen? XWave brainwave interface for iDevices unveiled

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September 7, 2010

XWave is an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad compatible device that detects brainwaves

XWave is an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad compatible device that detects brainwaves

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Until humans evolve huge brains like the Talosians, it seems we’ll have to rely on electronic headwear to allow us to control devices with our brainwaves – electronic headwear like the XWave from California-based company PLX Devices. The XWave is the first brainwave interface accessory for the iPhone/iPod touch/iPad that is worn over the head like a pair of headphones. Unfortunately, the device won’t allow you to scroll through playlists or select a contact to call with the power of your mind. Rather, like the Star Wars Force Trainer, it detects your attention and meditation levels for use in games and getting the old gray matter into shape.

The XWave is powered by technology provided by Neurosky Inc. and the device itself is not dissimilar to that company’s MindSet headset we first saw at the Tokyo Game Show back in 2008. Like the MindSet, the XWave incorporates a single electrode that sits in contact with the wearer’s forehead to read brainwave information, or electroencephalography (EEG) data, and converts these analog signals into digital so they can be used

The XWave headset

The device comes bundled with the XWave app that includes a number of exercises aimed at training your brain. Objectives include levitating a ball on the iDevice’s screen, changing a color based on the relaxation level of your brain and training your brain to maximize its attention span.

The XWave app

PLX Devices is also providing 3rd party software developers an SDK to allow them to design and develop apps using the XWave device. The company reports that some apps already in development include games in which objects are controlled by the wearer’s mind and another that allows the wearer to control the lights in their home or select music based on their mood.

The XWave will be available for preorder from PLX Devices now for US$100 ahead of an October 2010 release.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
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5 Comments

I think an interface such as this one might eventually be used to control the extension/retraction of the side mirrors of cars. It would reduce the coefficient of drag. However, the laws reguarding the permanent positioning of mirrors would have to be reconsidered.

Adrian Akau
8th September, 2010 @ 11:09 am PDT

Good way of adoption of BIOMIMICRY.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Anumakonda Jagadeesh
9th September, 2010 @ 05:26 am PDT

Hey, Adrian, your comment is lateral thinking at its finest. I don't somehow think they will reconsider changing the law to suit your desire for drag reduction.

How about driving by thought control?

windykites1
9th September, 2010 @ 08:43 am PDT

Interesting device. I just watched the promo video at the PLX website and still think its not yet to the level of a "killer app". That said... if this headset is indeed picking up brainwaves and the software is translating them then it is a great start at commercializing "mind control". I just want something a bit more concrete and I doubt this headset has sensitive enough sensors to do the trick.

Dana Lawton
10th September, 2010 @ 03:03 pm PDT

yawn, fart

Jonathan Carcopo
9th November, 2010 @ 07:18 am PST
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