As brainwave-reading technology has become cheaper and easier to use, it’s begun to infiltrate the Maker Movement, enabling interesting new hacks based on brain-computer interfaces. It has even started popping up in games and toys, like NeuroSky’s Mindflex.

Father-daughter team Jeff and Megan Marinchak are hacking a Mindflex headset, tapping into the EEG data and linked it via Bluetooth to a Raspberry Pi that can show users their brainwaves in real time. It’ll primarily describe the wearer’s attention, but that translates nicely into a game, in which two players compete to focus their attention and achieve a goal.

This exhibit will be appearing at the 10th annual Maker Faire Bay Area. Don't have tickets yet? Get them here!

These Makers will be appearing at the 10th annual Maker Faire Bay Area. Don’t have tickets yet? Get them here!

“Often you start with a specific idea that you intend to carry out, however the final project is always a little different than you might have imagined,” says Megan, who is finishing her junior year in high school. “In this particular project we wanted to use a Raspberry Pi for the coding, however most people who were able to get the technology to work used an Arduino. As a result we had to find the best way to get our technology to work keeping in mind how much time and effort it would take.”

The project was born when a representative from NeuroSky went to visit her school. “I remember being absolutely blown away,” she says. “All those years watching TV shows where mind reading was a superpower, and here today, I was witnessing a technology that could actually read brain waves.”

Think you’ve got the focus to bend your brainwaves? Jeff and Megan will bring their project to the Bay Area Maker Faire, May 16 and 17.

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