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Helmet Reads Brain Waves to Control Video Games

Hands cramping up from too many video games?

How about controlling games with your thoughts instead? Later this year, Emotiv Systems Inc. plans to start selling the $299 EPOC neuroheadset to let you do just that.

The headset's sensors are designed to detect conscious thoughts and expressions as well as "non-conscious emotions" by reading electrical signals around the brain, says the company, which demonstrated the wireless gadget at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

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The company, which unveiled a prototype last year, says the headset can detect emotions such as anger, excitement and tension, as well as facial expressions and cognitive actions like pushing and pulling objects.

The headset will be sold with a game developed by Emotiv, but it can also be made to work with existing PC games, the company said.

Users will also be able to access an online portal to play more games, chat or upload their own content such as music or photos.

Emotiv plans to work with IBM Corp. to explore applications beyond video gaming. The "brain computer interface" technology could transform not only gaming, but how humans and computers interact, said Paul Ledak, vice president of IBM's Digital Convergence business.

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