Hey Neurosky! I Do Mind!

From Neurosky website.

NeuroSky is the worldwide leader in bringing biosensor technology to the consumer mass market. Our well-known partners have utilized our technology to create some of the most exciting products of the year, including Mattel’s Mindflex and Uncle Milton’s Force Trainer.

Our Brain-Computer Interface technologies are available to developers and researchers across a range of different industries. Our advancements breathe new life into existing products and enable the birth of new innovations.

Since our inception, we have grown a steady stream of business clients, from Fortune 100’s to start-ups. In addition, we’ve partnered with some of the most prestigious academic institutions to develop the next wave of solutions.

While hopefully not enslaving us to robots in the process?

To me this video is just awful. Although it is a report from 2007, I don’t think it is that dated really. It shows everything that is wrong with the merging of science and media. To me recklessly merging neuroscience with children’s video games sounds like a science fiction nightmare.

Neurosky is a terrible name. Why not just Brain-Heaven? Too obvious?

Here is the CEO of Neurosky, Stanley Yang doing some feel good PR at 1:01:

“For industrial applications we have alot of inquiries about how to make construction workers safer..ugh..operating machines that are dangerous…if you lose your focus maybe you should stop the machine before it hurts you.”

First of all, this guy is the CEO? This is the BBC, and Neurosky  is one of the top companies right now going to market with a very high tech device. I mean Neurosky, who’s motto is “Do you mind”, is probably a front for a more nefarious organization, but the quote is delivered as if he just ate a two day old doughnut. His delivery is understandable when you consider that ‘this is for your own good’, or ‘this is to help people’ is just a marketing strategy used to ease your mind.

A good analogy might be pharmaceutical companies. Give them billions of dollars and what do you get? Sure, the guys in the lab coats come out and furrow their brow and show charts. There might even be applause, but what comes out on the market the next day? Not a breakthrough in any of the big killers, just a new viagra, a new drug to make you think you are happy… and a marketing campaign to sell it to you.

When are doctors going to stop bragging about curing polio?

Jonas Salk was against everything the pharma-corps stand for now. He refused to patent his vaccine and profit from it because he wanted to make sure as many people as possible were getting it. The pharmaceuticals do the opposite. They fight and fight for the right to party at our expense.

Second of all, if you think construction companies or any other company is going to invest in high tech equipment to keep their workers safer,  you are dead wrong. Many workers die on the job now because companies cut corners on safety as it is…”low tech” safety.

Miners and oil-riggers come to mind.

Third of all. His statement is terribly contradictory, to the point of oxymoronic absurdity.

“If you lose focus, maybe you should stop the machine before it hurts you”, he says.

So if you have the helmet on, and lose focus, you should focus harder with the helmet? Does he mean, if your leg falls asleep, you can tell the machine with your brain to move it? I know, maybe a buzzer will go off, when the ‘concentration meter’ is low? But a buzzer could be distracting, there are buzzers all over the machine. A warning light? Well, you have to watch what you are doing, sometimes looking in the opposite direction of the console.

Of course you could have some sort of vibration or slight shock to ‘alert’ you that your concentration is low. And that could be a good selling point too for the company. “It is mostly for safety but it will also increase efficiency.”

Of course, these statements from these companies are not meant to be taken seriously, but they are used to counter people’s criticism of the technology as in, “what, are you against helping the elderly and handicapped!?”

And who knows, these devices might actually make the work place more fun. This technology will make the water cooler chat even cooler.

“I think I set the record today for ‘zingers’!”, or whatever the slang will be for the electric shocks or jolts that will wake you out of your unfocused ways and back on the job.

“Sometimes I think I am addicted to ‘zaps’, I wonder if I stay up late just to get more the next day?”, says the poor strung out worker to his pal.

Now for some scary quotes by a British narrator. They always try and get a British guy to do it to make it seem less harmless. It even works on the British.

AT 1:21: “If you fancy your self as Darth Vader this helmet will read your brain waves. The meter measures concentration.”

And my favorite at 1:31:

“But scientists say there is still a long way to go before technology harnessing the power of thought becomes reliable enough for mind games and brain controlled devices to come into general use”

Darn! Now now now!

I think “mind games” and “brain controlled” devices need to be in everyone’s hands as soon as possible. I think children wearing brain-scanning helmets that read their devious little minds along with a viewable ‘concentration meter’ on the side is a good thing. Let’s try and see them squirm their way out of this one! Little bastards! We got em now!

Neurosky! To infinity and beyond!

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