CES just had a mind bending moment with our hands on experience with the Mind Controlled Puzzlebox Orbit. The small helicopter lowers and rises based on the concentration of the one who wears the linked NeuroSky EEG Bluetooth headset The headset attaches round the face like a eighties headband, and utilizes the same sensors that make the Necomimi Cat Ears wiggle . The EEG sensors use brainwaves to pick up on concentration rhythms and depending on the focus you expend, the helicopter should rise and fall.
The headset sends the measurements to the related Apple or Android app and once deep enough concentration has been achieved – you better believe this little helicopter will take off.
Naturally sceptical of this kind of device, I found I really did have to put effort into making this work as when I was just attempting to raise it by thinking ‘rise’ it stayed stubbornly still. I needed to concentrate on reading a sign- upside down- to make the rotor flutter and as I focused the helicopter rose into the air.
It’s hard to adjust how far it rises- it does seem to be a ‘it either flies or it doesn’t’ game, rather than something where your focus changes- as in with the Mindflex- but it was still a challenge. The Puzzlebox Orbit is aimed at children with concentration issues to allow them to gain more focus, and you set certain goals with the related app which you attempt to meet. Once the goal is reached- a certain level of concentration and the dial will go into the green zone- the IR transmitter (included) will signal to the Orbit that it can take flight.
The design is a stylish sphere, which will protect low ceilings and the helicopter itself should it crash to the floor. Another nice touch is that he Orbit runs on a open source platform so more games can potentially be created by outside developers. It’s great that they’re taking that approach, and they have offered everything- all source code, hardware schematics, 3D models, and step-by-step building instructions for people to use. If you are ready to put your brain to work Neurosky currently retails for $199.