How Emotiv EPOC Works?

In the never-ending quest to make video games realistic, developers have focused on feel, screen appearance and sound. The technology that brings games to life has advanced so much over the last decade or so that some feel today’s games are as realistic as they are going to get. But there is much more to the process of producing game reality than what has been accomplished so far.

One of the frontiers for game development is player interaction. Getting the player into the virtual world has grown by leaps and bounds. Graphics are so real that you may actually feel you are falling or moving fast, at least for a second. Joysticks and radio-signal technology have advanced to the point that these units interpret our movement. Now Emotiv EPOC seems to be taking game reality to another level.

Emotiv EPOCGame developers have improved joystick technology and given them a fluid feel that seems to make the controller disappear when the player is focused on the game. The controllers used in Wii and copycat systems take another step toward freeing the game player from the solid objects that make up the system. Now, Emotiv EPOC uses the human brain as a source for creating movement in a game. That’s right, this system uses a headset that receives brain waves. This technology can tell the game system what you want to do within your virtual world.

Because the brain sends out a level of electrical energy the correct technology certainly could use this energy to power action games. The knowledge of brain waves and of energy that sends signals from one neuron to another is not new. Scientists and doctors have used equipment to measure brain waves for well over a century. It’s the basis of the electroencephalogram (EEG).

This technology is now being adapted and applied to interactive gaming. The Emotiv EPOC headset mimics in a way the EEG that has electrodes/disks that pick up the brain activity. The signals are sent through wires for amplification. The foundation for using EEG technology in gaming lies with trying to interpret a person’s thoughts based on the brain wave signals being captured. Scientists have found that brain activity corresponds to a patient’s apparent state of mind and thought processes. When measured, a person’s brain waves have patterns that appear only with specific emotions or thoughts.

With Emotiv EPOC seven pairs of electrodes are used to capture the brain-wave signals. When perfected, this technology takes its cues from a person’s thoughts, converting these signals into digital information that a computer-game system can use to play the game. The company behind this method, Emotiv Systems, users what it calls the brain/computer interface (BCI). Company information states that the technology can recognize and use up to 30 different emotions, actions and expressions. These are transferred to the character or object on the screen.

Category: Technology

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