Goodbye touchscreen? XWave brainwave interface for iDevices unveiled
By Darren Quick
September 7, 2010
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 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.
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.