Wireless headset, 'Emotiv EPOC' brain-computer interface, designed by Emotiv Systems Pty Ltd and 4design Pty Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2003-2009, made by Emotiv Systems Pty Ltd, Philippines, 2010
The Emotiv EPOC detects electrical signals from the brain and transmits them wirelessly to a computer or gaming device. The system can sense facial expressions, moods and emotions allowing the user to interact in new ways. The user can quickly train the system to recognise and respond to many mental commands.
The Emotiv is one of a number of devices developed over the last decade that uses brainwaves to interact with computers. It is an example of how electroencephalography (EEG) technology, once an expensive scientific and medical tool, is being applied to low cost consumer devices with a wide range of applications.
Initially targeted at the gaming industry, the Emotiv system is unique as it has been marketed as an open-source research device rather than directly to consumers. The associated software development kit has allowed users to develop novel applications including mental spelling programs, robotic and wheelchair control, home automation, art installations, even a research program driving a car! The Emotiv EPOC has the potential to dramatically change the way people interact with computers.
The Emotiv is an example of outstanding Australian design - it received an Australian International Design Award, Engineering Excellence Award and Red Dot Award in 2010.
Designed and developed by Emotiv Systems Pty Ltd and 4design Pty Ltd, 2003-2009, Sydney, Australia. Made by Emotiv Systems Pty Ltd, Philippines, 2010.
The Emotiv EPOC is designed to be simple and easy to use. Little setup is required as the headset was designed to fit a wide range of head shapes and sizes. The pivoting, low-tensile arms grip each sensor against the scalp to read EEG signals. The 14 saline sensors (7 pairs) are mostly around the front of the head. An internal gyroscope generates positional information to allow the user to control the cursor or camera. A Lithium battery provides 12 hours of continuous use.
A first time user needs to calibrate or train the device by practising a number of tasks including:
Lifting an object
Dropping an object
Pushing an object
Making an object vanish
Rotating an object on six axes
The Emotiv can read emotions such as, excitement, tension, boredom, frustration and facial expressions like, winking, laughing, crossing eyes and smiling.
EPOC isn't an acronym -- it's a play on the word 'epoch,' which refers to a time of momentous technological development or beginning of important era (source: McGrath)
'Emotiv EPOC', 2010 Australian International Design Awards entry information, undated,
http://www.designawards.com.au/application_detail.jsp?status=8&applicationID=7205, accessed 13 July 2011
'EPOC neuroheadset features', Emotiv website, undated,
http://www.emotiv.com/store/hardware/epoc-bci/epoc-neuroheadset/, accessed 13 July 2011
McGrath, Jane. 'How the Emotiv EPOC Works', 10 December 2008. HowStuffWorks.com. http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/emotiv-epoc.htm, accessed 17 May 2011.
Tan Le, A Headset that reads your brainwaves, TED Talks, Jul 2010, Oxford England,
http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/eng//id/921, accessed 13 July 2011
This object was displayed in Australian International Design Awards exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum from July 2010 - July 2011. The Emotiv EPOC received an Australian International Design Award 2010 and Powerhouse Museum Selection 2010 at the Australian International Design Awards ceremony in Sydney on 4th June 2010. It also received a Red Dot Award and Engineering Excellence Award in 2010.
Emotiv Systems was founded in 2003 by four scientists and executives: neuroscientist Professor Allan Snyder, chip-designer Neil Weste, and technology entrepreneurs Tan Le and Nam Do. The Emotiv headset launched into the market in 2009. The technology consists of both a hardware and software platform that is licensed to application developers and other third parties worldwide. Emotiv is headquartered in San Francisco and has R&D facilities in Sydney, Australia
'Mind control: How a £200 headset is redefining brain-computing interaction,' by Neal Pollack, 29 November 2010, Wired UK
http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2010/12/features/mind-control, accessed 13 July 2011