MindWave Mobile – Controlling the Android with your Mind
Sounds like Science Fiction? Well think again. The science is here and now to read your mind and it can be done at a price below $100. Neurosky has created an EEG (Electroencephalogram) device called the MindWave Mobile that reads your brainwaves and broadcasts them through BlueTooth to your Android Phone. I bought my device online from Maker for $59 dollars and could not wait to use it. I was surprised to find the number of apps already available for the device. I suspect the reason there are so many apps already available for the MindWave is because they have a developer kit available that anyone can download for free. I’ll talk more about using the developer kit in my next article. This article will focus on some of the cool apps you can use with the MindWave device.
Getting Jacked In:
The MindWave requires one AAA battery to power the device. The battery holder can be released from the inside with a thumbnail. To connect to the MindWave device, you place the headband part of the device over the top of your head. There are three sensors that need to make contact with your skin in order to connect. The headband has one sensor which presses near your cheek. Then there is a band across your forehead that needs to make contact with the skin of your forehead. Finally there is a clip that clips onto your earlobe.
Let me warn you that this is not the most comfortable device in the world. After a while the clip on your ear is kind of uncomfortable, and I found I needed to hold the forehead sensor on my forehead or it falls off. I suspect Neurosky is working on a more comfortable and practical headband in the future, but for the price of testing out mind control, heck, I can endure the pain!
Connecting to the BlueTooth Device
I’ve always found the Bluetooth connection process a little bit of a hardship with any device, but it works well enough with the Mindwave. To pair with your android, you need to turn the MindWave on with the switch near the battery pack. A blue light will flash indicating the MindWave is looking to pair with your android. I found that moving the MindWave close to my Android allowed it to pair easier. Once it’s paired, the light should turn solid blue and you are ready to be Dr. Xavier, the X-Men Telepath!
The MindWave has multiple sensors and reads 3 basic modes of your mind, along with raw EEG data. The three modes are: attention, meditation, and blink. For attention, the MindWave reads how well you are focusing your attention. The higher the focus, the higher value produced by the device. Meditation measures how relaxed you are with your mind. The more you are able to relax, the higher the relaxation number registers. Finally, blink detects when you blink your eyes. You may be saying to yourself, that’s cool and everything, but what does that have to do with mind control?
Controlling your world with your Mind.
Well, the cool thing about your mind is that you can control your focus and your meditation mental state. If you communicate the number that represents the amount you are relaxed to say a ball moving on your android screen, you can control the ball. Maybe the more you relax the faster the ball goes. Maybe if you blink, the ball changes color. Maybe if you start to focus on the ball, when your focus reaches a certain level, the ball rises. That, my friends, is mind control. Now let me take it one step further. Let’s say instead of an Android phone, you have a drone enabled with Bluetooth and a computer board (Like an Arduino) hooked to the motor of the propellers. The more you focus on the droid, the faster the propeller spins and the droid starts to go up. Relaxing, slows the propellers down, and the droid starts to go down. Blinking changes the direction of the droid. You see where I’m going with this. Now you can control your physical world with your mind.
Apps for the MindWave to Get Started
Neurosky has a bunch of apps that they sell in their App Store. There is a basic one called MindWave Mobile Tutorial that can get you started using the device. I recommend going through the tutorial to understand how to deal with any issues you may be having with the device and to understand basic biorhythmic control through the Mindwave Sensors.
Once you successfully navigate the tutorial, you are ready for some real mind control apps.
These apps show your brainwaves in charts in real time. They are like a DIY EEG that shows the state of your brain. BrainWave Visualizer gives a cool multidimensional Chart that shows the state of all your brainwave frequencies. The graph looks like something out of an episode of Outer limits, but the entire picture gives you a really good feel for which are your most active brainwave states while your wearing the MindWave device. Another measurement app, BioZen, developed by the Department of Defense, gives you some cool realtime charts of your mental state as well.
There are several apps, many of them free, that help you enter a nice zen state through the biofeedback mechanism. One of my favorite, Transcend2 is a meditation app in the App Store which allows you to play soothing sounds and pick calming visuals at the same time monitoring how relaxed you are feeling. You can will yourself to continue to relax and watch the mini yogi indicator as your alpha state continues to transcend into nirvana.
I tried a few games that were compatible with the MindWave Mobile Device. One of my favorites was Kinetic Ball which lets you control a ball through a maze. There are two modes: One to move the ball with your mind through strong focus. The other mode lets you increase the brightness of the ball with increased focus so you can see where to move the ball. Both modes are challenging and have various levels of difficulty. Another game I enjoyed was NeuroNauts where you control the speed of a rocket ship with the concentration of your mind, while steering with your fingers to pick up objects.
Other Cool Applications
There are a few applications worth exploring that are also sold through NeuroSky. There are the Necomimi Cat Ears that you wear on your head and they communicate your state of mind to your friends by moving the ears to different positions or moving them around in funny ways. Also, there is a cool toy called The Force Trainer II which puts Jedi Powers into your hands allowing you to control holograms with the focus of your mind. There is some pretty neat stuff appearing on the horizon from the MindWave Mobile, so keep a mind’s eye out for this powerful tech.