Researchers and amateur practitioners alike are fusing man and machine to speed up communication and boost intelligence.
Temporary Cyborgs: Market-Ready Alternatives
Detachable headsets are proving a popular method of allowing users to experience temporary technological enhancements. While US internet search engine giant Google's Project Glass prototype presents a vision-based augmented reality system that responds to voice commands, other developers are looking to neurologically synched devices.
Californian neuro-sensor company NeuroSky released its MindWave Mobile device during 2012. The $130 wireless headset reads the wearer's brainwaves in the same way that sound-waves can be detected, allowing for the system to process thoughts as a means of interacting with apps and games. Detecting varying levels of concentration and attention, NeuroSky's system is iOS and Android compatible, and provides the basis for the Puzzlebox Orbit. This independently manufactured remote-controlled toy helicopter can be controlled by thought, and was funded via online crowd-funding platform Kickstarter.
Australian Neurotechnology firm Emotiv has released the EPOC headset ($299), which responds to the brain's electric signals using a similar system. With applications for gaming, music, visual arts, market research and medical uses such as mind-controlled electric wheelchair use, the headset highlights the practical and leisure uses for such technologies.