Mind reading is the layman term for brain computer interface. Mind reading devices tend to look interesting and unusual, from passive, insect like EEG caps with trailing wires to interactive Brain Computer Interfaces. These devices range from largely useless toys to profoundly impressive technology used to control things such as prosthetic limbs. Here is an mix of our favorites.


The OpenEEG project


The most affordable do it yourself mind reader. This open project made by hobbyists for hobbyists toots an impressive array of configurations to suit the needs of just about anyone wanting to explore the brain on the cheap. 


Emotiv BCI 2008.


The impressive thing about Emotiv’s interactive EEG gaming cap is that it apparently works, recognizing facial expression and allowing movement of items in a 3d environment. This is latest iteration of Emotiv’s BCI device .


Mattel Mind Flex.


No, this is not Jedi mind game workout equipment--even if it looks like it. Mattel is bringing its Mind Flex game to market fall of 2009--and you control the action through hand, eye, and mind coordination.


OCZ Neural Impulse Actuator.


Going one step beyond the Wii’s haptic interface, OCZ’s Neural Impulse Actuator augments the gameplay interaction but does not replace traditional mouse and keyboard. You can shoot as fast as you think. Sells for $150.


Emsense Brain Device.


Emsense is using EEG systems not to control objects but to measure people’s emotional responses to them, for market research

Diffuse Optical Tomography (DOT)

DOT devices can read your mind by measuring the blood flow differences between regions in the brain with light. The sensors require no special preparation and are immune to motion which is great with kids.

Near Infrared Optical Tomography (NIR)

Another system that uses light to measure blood flow in the brain, but is based on pulse oxymetry technology. Oxymetry is the measure of the saturation of oxygen in blood. This system is build by Hitachi.


Capacitive SSVEP BCI


A capacitive EEG helmet means no need to stick messy electrodes on your head. Just put on this mind reading helmet and drive a remote controlled car with your thoughts.


Body Heat & Solar Powered Wireless EEG 


IMEC in Belgium, has developed a battery-free wireless 2-channel EEG* system powered by a hybrid power supply using body heat and ambient light


The Cerebus System


From the Media Lab in Europe, this head gear allows integrating many brain sensing technologies. For example, by combining EEG with DOT, it is possible to maximize the benefits of each modality while minimizing the overall limitations of the system.


Aurora Consurgens.


Gorgeous patterns are created on a video screen visualizing the thought energy given off by audience members wearing the thought reading gear.


Brain Prosthetic Limb Controller.


Rahmat Shoureshi, dean of Engineering and Computer Science at Denver University, received a $300K National Science Foundation grant to fund development of brain-imaging technologies to allow allow amputees to control electronic prosthetics by thought.


MEG Scanner.

Magnetoencephalography devices can be used in addition to MRI to measure electrical brain activity via devices that clearly look like one is wearing a giant ice cream cone. The magnetic fields in the brain are around a million billionth of a Tesla, so these devices need to sit in room that are shielded from the earths magnetic fields.

Vision Lab's EEG harness.

The image of someone wearing electrical sensors studded all over the head and face, to measure electrical brain activity is a cinematic staple for quackery yet it is actually grounded in genuinely useful science. shown here is a researcher wearing a particularly impressive array of EEG cap sensors, at McMaster University in Ontario.

A Better Brain Scanner.

The latest brain scanner improvements by Siemens promise an order of magnitude increase in the resolution of MRI images by increasing the density of coils in a headset.

In the Past: Mind Readers Circa 1909

Surprisingly, someone had already dreamt of harvesting the power of thought as early as 1909 .

In the Future: Mind Controlled Wii 2010

When it comes to the future of gaming, opposable thumbs are so passé. At least that is what the dreamers at T3 Magazine think when they started to commission future designs for their “future tech” feature. They are showcasing a Wii headset accessory that uses brainwaves to control characters and also features immersive in-ear headphones.


In the Far Future: Augmented Cognition Lab


From the peace loving people at DARPA a vaporware vision of brain control in the future,  comes as a movie production (which really shows that they have too much money on their hands). 


In the Really Far Future: iThink

What comes after the iPods and iPhones, why iThink, of course. The apple hardware interfaces directly with your thought in a matrix like fashion.


Somewhere in the Universe

Get Xenu's orders directly downloaded to your brain.