Emotiv EPOC Review

Emotiv EPOC ReviewEmotiv EPOC is not just an interactive device. Once you train it, you can use the high-quality EEG technology to monitor brain activity and assess cognitive abilities while you play games.

What’s EEG?

You probably know that your brain features billions of tiny cells called neurons which send electrical signals to each other. Whenever your brain is working, even during sleep, these neurons fire tiny bolts of electric current which produces brain waves. Any device or machine that produces a measurement or graph of brain waves is known as EEG or electroencephalogram.

Researchers have established that your brain wave activity is related to your state of mind. Brain waves are relatively slow during sleep. Alpha waves are emitted when your brain is in a relaxed, conscious state. If your mind is stressed or too excited, the neurons start firing beta waves at a fast pace – almost 40 times per second.

Remember that your brain cells do not emit one kind of wave at a time. Instead, different kinds of waves are emitted simultaneously all of which are recorded in an EEG graph.

 

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Meet Emotiv EPOC – Your Mind Reading Controller

Emotiv – the genius company behind EPOC applied EEG technology to the gaming world so that everyone can experience it easily. Emotiv Systems or the company behind this innovative idea has claimed to develop a ‘brain computer interface’ – the first of its kind!

The headset you receive can process facial expressions and according to Emotiv, the ultra-sensitive electrodes can sense up to 30 different expressions, actions as well as emotions. Interestingly, the headset can detect your mood when you are smiling looking at the screen or when you’re bored.

The EPOC headset you can find in the market features 14 tiny extensions of electrodes – basically these seven pairs of sensitive electrodes will focus on the areas around the front of your scalp. Before you assume that you will end up with a huge mess of electrodes on your head like a traditional EEG machine, here’s something you need to know.

The wireless Emotiv EPOC headset includes a special device that allows your head to control the camera and cursor movements. Also, these wireless electrodes can easily sit on your head the same way headphones do.

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How Does EPOC Read Your Brain Waves?

Here’s the million dollar question. We all know that every person is unique so how can a simple headset read brain activity accurately?

EPOC and Brain Sensing
Your brain is a complex system where’s loads of activity is taking place every second, this includes how you perceive your surroundings, your memory, your emotions and moods are all interpreted in the numerous functional areas of the brain including the visual cortex, temporal cortex, the limbic system and the parietal cortex.

The limbic system is located deep inside the brain and is responsible for controlling your emotions, moods, flight/fight response, memory as well as a number of critical physiological functions such as heart rate and breathing.

Emotiv EPOC ReviewIn order to detect brain activity accurately, the electrodes need to measure brain signals from the different structures located around the brain. Remember, it is not impossible to detect brain activity accurately using signals from frontal and temporal regions specifically.

Whenever you’re angry or frustrated, your brain would emit a particular set of brain waves. While this pattern stays consistent in your case, it may be a little different from the brain wave pattern emitted by the other person who is angry or frustrated.

As stated earlier, every person is unique and this is the exact reason why the Emotiv EPOC will try to know your brain before you can interpret your brain activity.

When you put on the wireless headset for the first time, you need to adjust the electrodes so that they make sufficient contact with your head. Because the headset doesn’t use the adhesive kind of material you get with EEG machines, you will have to arrange the electrodes manually so that they fit just right. Remember that when you’re trying to adjust the headset, the last thing you should do is to move violently and disconnect an electrode.

The Emotiv EPOC headset is linked to a game which asks you to perform a number of challenging tasks for a sensei. For example, the game may ask you to focus on a specific task such as lifting. As you continue to focus on the task, the electrodes will record the specific brain activity pattern and recognize the pattern as a specific function i.e. lifting.

Well sometimes concentrating or focusing on the task at hand can be pretty challenging. The makers of the Emotiv EPOC headset recommend that you should physically ‘express’ the activity using your body movement and facial expressions.

Some of the specific actions that you will be asked to perform include:

  1. Lifting an object
  2. Dropping an object
  3. Pushing an object
  4. Trying to make an object vanish
  5. Trying to rotate the object on six axes

The Emotiv EPOC is a kind of delicate device and you need to handle the sensor pads carefully as you try them ‘fix’ them in the holes in the head piece. Also, when you’re done with the mind controlling activity, you’ve got to place the sensors back into their storage case. That being said, you need to set aside at least 5 to 10 minutes of ‘setting up’ every time you use the device to make sure the sensors are placed exactly where they’re supposed to.

What’s EEG?

Some aspects of Emotiv EPOC readings might sound exciting to you. For example, the headset can detect boredom when there’s an abnormal increase in the emission of theta waves. That’s right. The system can easily detect that you’re zoning out even if you never practiced ‘playing boredom’ before.

Some of the basic emotions EPOC can detect include:

  • Excitement
  • Boredom
  • Frustration
  • Tension
  • Meditation
  • Immersion

As stated earlier, the EPOC headset can also read facial expressions. That’s right. The headset is smart enough to read facial expressions such as winking or smiling. According to the manufacturing company, here are some of the facial expressions Emotiv can read:

  • Smiling
  • Smirking
  • Laughing
  • Crossing eyes
  • Appearing shocked
  • Anger
  • Grimace

The Emotiv Difference
The 5 channel sensitive headset can measure activity over the entire brain as well as all 4 major frequencies namely alpha, beta, gamma and theta.

The Different Detection Algorithms
Emotiv EPOC offers three different kinds of detection algorithms all of which are based on scientific research.

Emotiv EPOC Review

  1. Facial expressions – EPOC detectors can measure up to 12 different facial expressions or events
  2. Performance metrics. Presently, the headset can measure 6 different emotional/ sub-conscious dimensions including:
  • Excitement (Arousal)
  • Stress (Frustration)
  • Meditation (Relaxation)
  • Engagement/Boredom
  • Attention (Focus)
  • Interest (Valence)
  1. Mental commands

Emotiv has designed a special system that allows users to train the headset to recognize brain activity patterns related to different specific commands. Now you can train EPOC to recognize a specific command in less than 20 seconds.

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Overall Emotive Review Score

Design
95 %
Performance
90 %
Usability
88 %
Functions
100 %

 

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The Future of Thought Controlled Gaming

If this gaming technology is worked upon, it could change the way people think about video games. You can download the basic software signing in with your Emotiv account. When fully charged, Emotiv battery can provide up to 12 hours of continuous use.

For best results, make sure you allow the headset to charge completely before use. The delicate sensors need to be saturated with saline solution, however take care not to soak the sensors for a long time. When you place the headset, make sure all sensors are in contact with your head and are fitted properly. You need to ensure that the sensors are in contact with the skin and more importantly, are clean. More details about headset installation are available on the website.

Email or Chat with customer service agents @ https://www.emotiv.com to request your headset. Make sure you include your contact number and time zone if you would like the representative to request a phone call.

After successful payment, all orders are processed for shipping within 48 hours. Domestic orders can take up to 3 days to deliver after processing. International product delivery orders can take up to 7 to 10 days to arrive after successful processing.

All headsets may be returned for an exchange within 30 days from date of shipping if you receive a dead product on arrival. To learn more about refund policy, visit the website.

The bottom line is that Emotiv EPOC has changed the dynamics of human computer interaction. This high resolution wireless neuro-headset uses 14 sensors to accurately read the electric signals produced by your brain. The good thing is that EPOC can connect to your computer running Windows, Linux, or MAC OS X.

So what are you waiting for? Start using EPOC and experience the virtual environment in a completely new way. You can use EPOC to connect to PC games as well as games developed specifically for the EPOC.