Hacking toy EEGs

Frontier Nerds has an excellent guide to toy EEGs (the commercially available ‘mind control’ games) and detailed instructions on how to hack the MindFlex to use it as a brain-computer interface.

In the last year or so, numerous ‘mind control’ games have appeared that are essentially cheap consumer EEG devices with a dull as ditch-water games attached. For example, the ‘Force Trainer‘ reads off EEG signals and levitates a ball. Yes, that’s it.

There are developer’s kits available for some of the products but they tend to be quite expensive. Frontier Nerds realised you can buy a cheaper model and with a little messing around can pull the data right off the electronics.

Even if you’ve no intention of hacking any of these devices, the piece is an interesting look inside the construction of these toy EEGs.

As we’ve mentioned before, it should be possible to do some serious science of sorts with these devices.

Because the data is so noisy, almost all EEG experiments, even in the best equipped labs, get people to do the same thing over and over and then average the signals to filter out the noise. This is why EEG experiments can be a bit dull to take part in as there tends to be lots of repetition. In a second stage each person’s EEG signals are averaged together to get an overall effect.

You could potentially have an internet-based experiment that uses these devices which people can try at home, and with a large enough data set, get a reliable result.

It won’t have the precision of a lab-based set-up, but it could still be useful.

Link to Frontier Nerds guide to hacking toy EEGs.

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