As a connoisseur of strange and/or stupid gaming and electronic peripherals, I have tried a number of headbands that purport to read your mind and translate your thoughts into gaming actions. So far, the ones I have tried work by reading how much you are moving your eyebrows. But today I learned about NeuroSky's MindWave headset, a device that claims the ability to read thoughts so that you can change the content of movies and TV shows based on your mood.
MindWave comes out in November, and comes bundled with a headset and a CD-ROM with a brief training program and a short video, produced by London studio Treite Labs. -- A CD-ROM you can control with your mind.
NeuroSky's Chief Executive Officer Stanley Yang imagines a world where viewers can influence the movies and TV shows they watch. For example, if you're super relaxed, Rocky will totally win the final fight in Rocky, where as if you're tense, he'll get knocked out in the second round.
Here's how Yang described the technology: "My wife and daughter love Avatar, but here's a character in the film they wish had lived... That would be a fun experience if you could see it actually happen because you wished it."
Yeah, not so much. Here's a tip for everyone who wants to influence the events in movies and TVs: You're probably not so good at it. If you want, make your own movies, then you get to pick whether the main characters live or die. No offense intended, but I'll bet James Cameron has better grasp on drama than Stanley Yang's wife and daughter.
I, for one, am totally against interactive movies unless they're designed from the ground up... at which point, they become video games. I would think a device like this would be better suited to gaming than the already established forms of art... assuming it works, of course, which is a big assumption.