*New* Brain Controlled Toys !


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Brain Wave of The Future
What If You Could Move Objects With Your Mind? Well, That Time Has Come.

You slip the wireless headset on. It looks like something a telemarketer would wear, except the earpieces are actually sensors, and what looks like a microphone is a brain wave detector. You place its tip against your forehead, above your left eyebrow.

A few feet away is a ping-pong ball in a clear tube called the Force Trainer. The idea is to use your thoughts alone, as recognized by the wand on your forehead, to lift the ball. Your brain's electrical activity is translated into a signal understood by a little computer that controls a fan that blows the ball up the tube. Levitates it. As if by magic. It's mind over matter.

All you have to do is concentrate. On anything, it doesn't matter. The harder you concentrate, the higher the ball goes. A musician says he played a song in his head and focused on a particular chord change. A former high school tennis star focused on his 120-mph serve. One woman brought the image of a candle flame to mind. The ball rose.

Concentrate. Concentrate.

A sound erupts -- first a groan, then a woooo, WOOOO -- like a Halloween ghost.

The ball spins, slowly at first, then faster.

Concentrate, concentrate.

And then the ball rises inside the tube. Up it lifts, two inches, four inches -- a foot!

You giggle and your concentration is broken; the ghostly sound fades and the ball drops back into its nest with a gurgle.

You have just controlled a physical object with your mind.

Competing mind-over-matter toys from Mattel and Uncle Milton Industries are coming this fall to a store near you. They are the first "brain-computer interfaces" to enter the consumer mainstream.

Toys, but so much more. They embody a dream of the ages: controlling the world with your thoughts. Telekinesis. The stuff of the gods.
Toy trains 'Star Wars' fans to use The Force

Could The Force be with you? A toy due in stores this fall will let you test and hone your Jedi-like abilities.

The Force Trainer (expected to be priced at $90 to $100) comes with a headset that uses brain waves to allow players to manipulate a sphere within a clear 10-inch-tall training tower, analogous to Yoda and Luke Skywalker's abilities in the Star Wars films.

No, you're not tapping into some "all-powerful force controlling everything," as Han Solo said in the movies. But you are reaching out with mind power via one of the first mass-market brain-to-computer products. "It's been a fantasy everyone has had, using The Force," says Howard Roffman, president of Lucas Licensing.

Mind-control games may be the coming thing: Mattel plans to demonstrate a Mind Flex game (also due this fall), which uses brain-wave activity to move a ball through a tabletop obstacle course, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday.

In the Force Trainer, a wireless headset reads your brain activity, in a simplified version of EEG medical tests, and the circuitry translates it to physical action. If you focus well enough, the training sphere, which looks like a ping-pong ball, will rise in the tower.

Toy trains 'Star Wars' fans to use The Force -
The U.S. Army is investing in technology that could allow soldiers to communicate with each other simply through their thoughts.

The Army awarded a five-year, $4 million contract in August 2008 to scientists from the University of California at Irvine, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland to produce “thought helmets,” according to an article in Time magazine.

If such technology is successful, it will allow troops to communicate using only information from their brain waves. The goal is that the project will “lead to direct mental control of military systems by thought alone,” the Army claims.

In tests, subjects are to wear “special caps” that perform electroencephalography, or EEG, readings of the brain. The scientists then face the monumental task of translating the resulting “squiggles on the computer screen” into “messages a computer can type out or speak.” Such technology could be decades away, however, according to the American Forces Press Service.

The military is not expected to be the sole beneficiary of such technology. Schmeisser noted that the research is meant to be a stepping-stone to other advances. For example, communication through thought could become useful for those with neurological problems like Lou Gehrig’s Disease. “So this program is not focused on creating inventions,” he said. “It is focused on creating the basic science foundation from which inventions flow.”

The Toy Industry Adopts Mind-Control Technology