Picture this: You put on a headset and relax your mind. Soon you begin controlling an object with your thoughts.
This mind-power trick may seem far-fetched, like something from a late-night science fiction movie or the back of an old comic book. But several companies are bringing this technology to life with affordable headsets that determine a person’s state of mind.
The gadgets translate brain waves into digital information and beam it wirelessly to computers or other devices.
So far the headsets are confined to mostly digital interfaces—videogames and movies whose plots can be altered with the mind—although in some cases real-world objects have been used, like a pair of catlike ears that move depending on a person’s mood. The technology, still in its infancy, has the potential to not only entertain but to possibly improve education and strengthen mental health, some doctors say.