Who says neuroscience can’t be fun? The toy company Mattel is introducing a toy that lets players control a ping pong ball with their brain waves:
A player straps on a headset that is designed to read theta brainwaves, typically associated with alertness and concentration. By focusing or relaxing, the player can control the speed of a fan that elevates a lightweight purple ball, and then must try to turn a knob by hand to guide the ball through various hoops in an obstacle course. [From BITS at NYTimes.com – Mattel Channels Obi-Wan: “Stretch Out With Your Feelings” by Brad Stone.]
Writer Brad Stone’s attempt to make the ball negotiate the hoops was, unfortunately, unsuccessful. Whether Stone hadn’t spent enough time meditating in a Tibetan monastery or the Mindflex toy was having a bad day is unknown. If you want to try Mindflex out yourself, you will be able to buy one for $80 later this year.