Rarely does a lead come across my desk that makes me think: “This is an ingenius hoax!” It happened to me this week when I heard about a skateboard that you can control with your mind. Google AR glasses I can totally believe, but this just seemed too insane. Upon further investigation, I found out the mind-controlled skateboard isn’t just real, but it’s also built with some surprisingly interesting technology.
Here’s a video of the skateboard, the Board of Imagination, in action:
Built by the Chaotic Moon Labs team in Austin, TX, the Board of Imagination uses the Emotiv EPOC technology and a Samsung Windows 8 Tablet to translate your thoughts into the motion of the board.
The Emotiv EPOC neuroheadset uses 14 saline sensors to detect the signals of your brain including emotion and facial expression. Here’s how it works: when the billions of neurons in our brain react, there is a chemical reaction that emits an electrical impulse. It can be measured and turned into data that a computer can interact with thanks to advances in algorithms. Emotiv Lifescience CEO Tan Le first debuted the headset live onstage at TED Global in 2010.
The Samsung Windows 8 Tablet runs the Emotiv cognitive suite, which creates movement-based actions around your thoughts.
The team behind the Board of Imagination is Chaotic Moon Labs, the Research and Development division of Chaotic Moon Studios. Chaotic Moon Studios is a mobile app studio that has worked with Groupon, Atari, The Discovery Channel, and more.
If you want a chance to live out your Tony Hawk fantasies by jumping onto the world’s first mind-controlled skateboard, you might just get your chance at this year’s SXSW. No word yet on whether the board will be available for attendees to ride, but the Austin-based company might just consider it since this year will be the second anniversary of their 2010 SXSW launch.