Prototype Toy Reads Brain's Electrical Signal

A convincing twin of Darth Vader is stalking the cubicles of a Silicon Valley office complete with black mask, cape and light saber. But this is no chintzy Halloween costume -- it's a prototype of a toy that incorporates brain wave-reading technology.

Behind the mask is a sensor that touches the user's forehead and reads the brain's electrical signals then sends them to a wireless receiver inside the saber which lights up when the user is concentrating.

Engineers at NeuroSky have big plans for brain wave-reading toys and video games. They say the simple Darth Vader game -- a relatively crude biofeedback device -- portends the coming of more sophisticated devices that could revolutionize the way people play.

NeuroSky's prototype measures brain-wave activity -- including concentration, relaxation and anxiety. The technology ranks performance in each category on a scale of one-to-100 -- and the numbers change as a person thinks about relaxing images, focuses, or gets kicked, interrupted or otherwise distracted.

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