Mindflex is a toy by Mattel which apparently uses brain waves to steer a ball through an obstacle course. The brain waves are captured with the enclosed EEG headset, which allows the user to speed up or slow down a fan, thus lifting or lowering the blue styrofoam ball. The game was released in the fall of 2009.
Scientists have questioned whether the toy actually measures brain waves or just randomly moves the ball, exploiting the well-known illusion of control. However, despite the Spiegel/Haynes experiments, supporters of the game believe that the headset does read EEGs (it uses the same chip as the MindSet from NeuroSky and has been used in homebuilt EEG machines). A more dubious hack was to use it to control an electric shock device. It has retailed for between 60 and 120 USD. There is also a new mind music translator called the Teletron that is used from hacking the Mindflex. There are also theories of the system sensing the jaw muscles of the players and moves the ball accordingly.
- MindFlex Games
- Scott Stein (June 26, 2009), "Moving objects with Mattel's brainwave-reading Mindflex", CNET News
- Hilmar Schmundt (February 22, 2010), "Aberglaube im Kinderzimmer", Der Spiegel (In German)
- Hilmar Schmundt (May 11, 2011), "Wenn der Ball nicht macht, was der Kopf will", Der Spiegel (In German)
- Eric Mika (April 7, 2010), "How to Hack Toy EEGs", Frontier Nerds Blog
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