Mind-Controlled Games at 35,000 Feet? Yes, Please

Have you ever been on a flight and wished for something more gratifying than your Sony PSP to keep you busy? Looks like you’re not alone.  The aerospace industry got a real treat last week at On the Wings of Innovation, a global aerospace symposium put together by the Ontario Aerospace Council and the local government. But the question isn’t what’s turning heads–it’s what’s getting inside them. That’s right: Toronto-based InteraXon was there to demonstrate potentially the next big thing in high-flying entertainment: thought-controlled in-flight gaming.At present the company has four prototype games for testers to try out, and they’re all designed to be played at 35,000 feet.

“We think it’s time that in-flight entertainment does more than simply distract you,” said InteraXon CEO Ariel Garten in the company’s press release. “We create in-flight experiences [that] offer value even after the flight is over.” For example, one of the apps in InteraXon’s arsenal is a meditation trainer that helps travel-weary passengers relax, while another is an EEG golf trainer that boosts concentration and helps users focus on their golf game.

So how does it work? A head-mounted device measures the brain’s electrical output and then sorts them into waves. The internal software reacts to alpha waves (associated with relaxation) and beta waves (associated with concentration). These waves become each program’s interface, allowing users to control games with their minds.

It’s anyone’s guess as to whether InteraXon can make mind-controlled games a mainstream hit, but futuristic meditation sure beats the occasional crying baby.

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