Epoc Headset for Emotiv
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A helmet that harnesses the power of mindreading
San Francisco based Emotiv Systems merges neuroengineering, technology and venture capitalism to create a new human interface control system—the Emotiv EPOC™ headset. The Emotiv EPOC detects and processes real time brain wave patterns using an EEG like device that measures electrical activity in the brain. Through the use of non-invasive sensors, the Emotiv EPOC measures a wide range of thoughts and emotions. Unlike earlier technologies which can only detect basic and well-known mental states such as ‘concentration”, Emotiv can simultaneously differentiate between particular thoughts such as ‘push’ and ‘lift’ and emotions such as ‘excitement’ or ‘calmness’.
With technology in hand and a gaming audience in mind, Emotiv Systems approached IDEO to create a sleek and beautiful headset that could house the 16 sensors and the electronics to make the device’s 30+ detections a reality. With the goal of fitting 98% of head sizes and hair styles, Emotiv Systems wanted a clever mix of industrial design and engineering that would result in a durable, easy-to-use product.
Referencing previous knowledge from head-centric work, the IDEO team began by creating a number of three-dimensional models. Challenged by the need to have contact points in specific locations, designers needed to make sure sensors were adjustable as well as pliable.
The final headset relies on an established and familiar headphone-like behavior to maintain pressure on the scalp for the sensors to capture EEG signals . The headset is molded from ABS plastic with soft rubber accents to allow for proper fit and user customization. Intuitive to use and durable enough for active gamers, the headset is available in Emotiv’s signature orange and white, or in a sleek black option. Inside the headset, a unique EEG graphic reminds the user who and what is making this headset actually work.
The Emotiv Epoc was unveiled at the 2008 Game Developers Conference and launches in late 2008.
Project date: 2008