Quiet, I’m thinking.

28 Aug

While researching how to read info from the star wars headset, I came across an interesting little project called Mental Block.

It’s a strange little project. It’s more artistic than anything else. The premise is that when you and your partners brainwaves match up you can see each other clearly, when they don’t you can’t see a thing. It’s kinda odd and seemingly a little pointless. I think that it’s interesting how they used the headset to control a users sight, even if it is in a roundabout way. They don’t make it pretty though, the headset they create looks something like a bizarro welders mask.

It uses an arduino to read the star wars headset data and then an xbee radio to send the data across to the other headset. The arduino then also reads the incoming data and adjusts a servo to position the polarised plastic correctly. It’s interesting to read their documentation as they went about it in a very hard and confusing way. They seemed to not be able to get the information from the base station like other devs could (even I could do this part) so they delved into the headset itself and broke a lot of them trying to figure it all out. It’s fun to learn from others mistakes.

Mental Block reads the user’s Alpha and Beta waves. It translates the Alpha waves to illumination on the wearer’s face. The more mentally present, the brighter the wearer’s face. Beta waves are translated to the rotation of a polarized filter disk. If both wearers’ beta waves are on the same frequency, they can see each other clearly. The more the wearers’ mental states differ from each other, the more obfuscated their faces become from each other.

To me it seems like a half-baked idea. I mean there could have been more to develop the game like element of the project rather than keep it so simple. It’s more like a proof of concept than anything else. Although, the star wars toy is a good enough proof of concept for me.

It’s nice to see someone using the headset though. More polish and thought needs to be done to make this something great.

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