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本文摘要:Picture this: You put on a headset and relax your mind. Soon you begin controlling an object with your thoughts. 想象一下这个场景:你戴着上耳机,放开精神,然后迅速你就可以用意念掌控一个物体。

Picture this: You put on a headset and relax your mind. Soon you begin controlling an object with your thoughts. 想象一下这个场景:你戴着上耳机,放开精神,然后迅速你就可以用意念掌控一个物体。This mind-power trick may seem far-fetched, like something from a late-night science fiction movie or the back of an old comic book. But several companies are bringing this technology to life with affordable headsets that determine a persons state of mind.这种意念把戏看起来或许不能信,样子是深夜科幻电影或者原有喜剧小说故事里的场景。但是几家公司正在让这种技术变为现实,它们发售的耳机可以测量人的精神状态。

The gadgets translate brain waves into digital information and beam it wirelessly to computers or other devices.Brian L. Frank for The Wall Street Journal戴着上神念科技的耳机,玩家可以用意念掌控现实和虚拟世界的物体。这种小玩意儿可以把脑电波转变成数字信息,然后通过无线方式将数字信息发送到电脑或其它设备。So far the headsets are confined to mostly digital interfaces videogames and movies whose plots can be altered with the mind-although in some cases real-world objects have been used, like a pair of catlike ears that move depending on a persons mood. The technology, still in its infancy, has the potential to not only entertain but to possibly improve education and strengthen mental health, some doctors say.迄今为止,这种耳机的应用于主要局限在数字界面领域──电子游戏以及情节可以随思维变动而转变的电影──有时候也用于了现实世界中的东西,比如一对像猫耳朵那样可以随人的情绪变化而翻动的耳朵。一些医生回应,尚能在跟上阶段的这项技术不仅有望为人获取玩乐,而且很有可能会提升教学质量以及促进精神身体健康。


Behind much of the technology is San Jose-based NeuroSky Inc., which first made a splash in 2009 when toy maker Uncle Milton Inc. used its headset for the Star Wars Force Trainer toy that let youngsters suspend a ball inside a tube. As the child concentrated, a fan would spin and blow the ping-pong ball upward.这项技术背后的主要推动者是总部设于圣何塞的神念科技有限公司(NeuroSky Inc.),该公司2009年因玩具制造商Uncle Milton公司在星球大战原力训练器(Star Wars Force Trainer)玩具中用于了它的耳机而名噪一时。那是一款让圆管里的小球飘起来的玩具,当小朋友聚精会神之时,内置的风扇不会旋转一起,把小球向下刮起。The novelty toy was more than a gee-whiz moment. It was the first time consumers could see brain waves translated into specific commands in the physical world. And it didnt make use of skull implants, which for years have enabled patients to control prosthetic limbs and wheelchairs. 这款新的颍的玩具好比让人收到哎哟喂这样的感慨,而且让消费者第一次看见了脑电波被转换成物质世界的明确指令。

而它并没用于那种多年来让病人可以掌控假肢和轮椅的颅内植入术。Now,about 1,700 software developers are working with NeuroSkys technology, with the majority of them making mind-controlled computer games for the companys $129 MindWave Mobile headset, NeuroSky Chief Executive Stanley Yang. He said the company is nearing profitability but declined to provide revenue numbers.神念科技公司首席行政宽斯坦利·杨(Stanley Yang)说道,现在,约有1700家软件开发商在用于神念科技公司的技术,它们中大多数都是为了用上该公司价值129美元的MindWave Mobile耳机而制作用意念掌控的电脑游戏。

他说道公司离盈利早已不远处了,但他拒绝接受透漏公司的收益数据。Among the offerings available in the companys app store are desktop games like MindHunter, in which players must focus single-mindedly in order to fire a weapon, and meditation aids like Mind Labyrinth, which grants players access to 52 different levels of an ancient temple as their relaxation grows deeper. Most of the games cost between $5 and $20, but other offerings - like the HocusFocus attention-building game, billed as a serious educational tool - can cost as much as $150.该公司的软件商店销售诸如MindHunter这样的桌面游戏,玩家必需聚精会神才能唤起武器。

店里还有Mind Labyrinth这样的定神冥思辅助工具,它可以随玩家放开程度的提高,许可他们转入一座有52个有所不同级别之分的寺庙。这些游戏大多售价五至20美元。其他销售的软件──比如以教育工具性质而定价的凝神锻炼游戏HocusFocus──售价有可能高达150美元。

There is going to be a whole ecosystem of new players, and NeuroSky is very well-positioned to be like the Intel of this new industry, said Alvaro Fernandez, chief executive of SharpBrains, a brain-fitness analyst and consultancy. They are to be inside a lot of whats going on. 脑健康分析咨询机构SharpBrains公司的首席行政宽阿尔瓦罗·费尔南德斯(Alvaro Fernandez)说道,将不会构成一个新的玩家的原始的生态体系,而神念科技就只不过这个新兴产业领域中的英特尔公司(Intel),占有了极好的方位。对于正在再次发生的一切,他们不会了如指掌。London-based MyndPlay Ltd. is using NeuroSky chips inside its own headset to enable viewers to control the outcome of movie scenes by concentrating and relaxing. The company has a production studio that makes short films with alternate plot lines and endings. 总部设于伦敦的MyndPlay有限公司在其耳机里用于了神念科技的芯片,以使观众可以通过集中精力和放开精神来掌控电影里的场景效果。这家公司享有一家电影制片厂,制作故事情节和结局可随观众状态而逆的电影短片。


In addition to being a novel twist on the moviegoing experience, the technology has implications in behavior modification, Chief Executive Tre Azam said. Two prisons in England, for example, show inmates a gangster-themed film from MyndPlay that teaches them to stay calm during threatening situations.MyndPlay公司首席行政宽特里·阿桑(Tre Azam)说道,除了给电影观看带给新奇体验之外,这项技术在行为矫正方面也能发挥作用。比如,英国的两所监狱给犯人首映了MyndPlay公司的电影,教教他们在遭遇威胁时维持耐心。

NeuroSky faces competition from San Francisco-based start-up Emotiv Systems Inc,which offers a $300 multi-sensor headset. Emotiv sells a variety of software including a package of popular games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft that are optimized for the companys headset, as well as a program designed to let users control a computer with thoughts instead of a mouse or keyboard.Brian L. Frank for The Wall Street Journal在神念科技坐落于旧金山的办公室,神念科技的渠道销售总监David Chung正在测试耳。神念科技公司面对着总部坐落于旧金山的初创企业Emotiv Systems Inc.的竞争。Emotiv公司的多传感器耳机售价300美元。

该公司还销售各种软件,还包括一套包括热门游戏愿景恶魔(Call of Duty)和魔兽世界(World of Warcraft)的游戏包在,里面的游戏都为因应该公司的耳机展开了优化。该公司销售的另一个程序可以让用户用意念而不是鼠标或键盘来掌控电脑。Emotiv is profitable, said a spokeswoman, declining to provide specific figures.一位发言人说道,Emotiv是一家盈利的公司,但是她拒绝接受获取明确的数据。


All of the companies vying to emerge in the brain-wave market are using electroencephalograph, or EEG, technology, which measures the brains electrical impulses in the forehead and has long been used to diagnose epilepsy and other brain disorders. The headsets contain a sensor that detects various mental states, and a chip converts the signals from analog format to digital so they can travel wirelessly to a computer.所有力争在脑电波技术市场占据一席之地的公司都在用于脑电图(EEG)技术。这种测量前额电脉冲的技术早就被应用于癫痫和其它大脑功能失调的化疗。这类耳机里面的一个传感器可以探测各种脑部状态,一个芯片可以将模拟信号转换成数字信号,这样,信号可以通过无线的方式传输到电脑。The technology is still limiting, however, tracking mostly the brains ability to concentrate and relax but not specific, purposeful actions. Some players of mind games might be underwhelmed that they dont have total control in the same way they could with a joystick.但是这种技术可以跟踪大脑注意力是集中于了还是放开了,而无法跟踪明确的、有目的的行动,一些意念游戏玩家在找到他们无法像用游戏手柄那样可以几乎掌控游戏时可能会深感索然无趣。

But some doctors believe mind-controlled games can provide more than fun and relaxation, by improving mental health. Psychiatrists have long trained the brains pre-frontal cortex to fight against acute conditions like anxiety, post-traumatic stress and attention-deficit disorder. Practices like meditation, exercise, and cognitive therapy have shown comparable short-term efficacy to medication.但是有些医生指出,由于意念掌控游戏可以提高心理健康,它给人带给的不仅是娱乐和放开。精神病学家早已开始训练前额叶皮层抗击像情绪、后遗症后压力和注意力缺失障碍这些相当严重病情。

做做冥思、磨练和认知疗法,其短期疗效可以和药物化疗相差无几。What if a person could derive the same kind of benefit from a mind-controlled videogame? The attention and focus required to control a game with the mind has the benefit of calming the mind, said game designer Jane McGonigal. Her game studio, SuperBetterLabs Inc,is attempting to introduce cognitive therapy into games optimized for NeuroSky and Emotive headsets.假使一个人可以从用意念掌控的电子游戏中取得类似于的益处,情况不会怎么样?游戏设计师珍·麦克低尼格(Jane McGonigal)说道,用意念掌控游戏所拒绝的注意力集中于可以让心神安静。她的游戏工作室SuperBetterLabs Inc.正试图将认知疗法引进为因应神念科技和Emotiv的耳机而优化的游戏。Michael Brody, a psychiatrist who teaches at the University of Maryland, cautions that mind-controlled games are useful only if they move beyond the novelty stage and become a standard part of patients mental health regimens. Dont hold your breath for the silver bullet, said Dr. Brody, who has studied the effects of various media on the brain for the past 40 years.马里兰大学(University of Maryland)的精神病学家迈克尔·布罗迪(Michael Brody)警告说道,意念掌控游戏只有在走进初尝阶段,沦为病人心理健康疗法标准化的组成部分之后才不会发挥作用。

布罗迪博士说道,不要以为这认同是一个绝妙的良方。他在过去40年里仍然在研究各种介质对大脑的影响。Other developers are taking a more whimsical approach. Among the various toys and gadgets that run on mind control is the NecoMiMi headset, a fashion accessory that has taken fans of Japanese anime by storm.其它公司的研发途径堪称无法解释世间。在各种用于意念掌控的玩具中,有一种NecoMiMi耳机,作为一种时尚配件,这种耳机在日本动画爱好者中大受欢迎。

Built by NeuroSky and a Japanese partner, NecoMiMi is a set of catlike ears that perk up when the wearers concentration intensifies, and flatten out when relaxed. A YouTube promotional video that has received more than 2 million views suggests it could provide a way for young people to express romantic interest. NecoMiMi耳机由神念科技公司和它的日本合作者联合生产,类似于猫耳,当配戴耳机的人精力集中于时,猫耳不会竖立起来,精神放开时则会平推倒下去。一段页面次数多达200万的YouTube宣传视频声称,这种耳机可以为年轻人获取一种传达爱意的方式。