Brainwave-Reading Mindflex Now Shocks Players

Brainwave-detecting game Mindflex from Mattel now has a hacked version out that shocks users whenever they are concentration on the game too hard. The hacked version was released by Harcos Labs, and is in an attempt to prevent headaches that users have been complaining about.

The original Mindflex headset indicates how hard you’re concentrating with a series LEDs. But with a little ingenuity and an electroshock kit, the devilish geniuses at Harcos turned it into something of a torture device:
Harcos hooked up the leads of the LEDs to a transistor/resistor relay network so they’d instead activate an electric-shock kit made by QKit. The end result? Concentrate a little, and you’ll get zapped a little. Concentrate hard, and you’ll get an electrical pulse that will make you think you’ve wandered onto the set of Green Mile.

Mindflex lets people raise and lower things with their mind. Like something dropped in out of a late-’70s science fiction movie, Mindflex comes in two parts: a stark white-and-blue plastic obstacle course for a series of small foam balls, and a strange wireless headset/headband. The parts were unloaded from a shopping bag here at our CNET Labs, and quickly assembled. The obstacle course looks almost like a future version of the old kinetic board game, Mouse Trap. Except, as we said, this one’s mind-controlled.

Mindflex announces the start of challenges (with a straight-from-Epcot robotic female voice), and then players can register their successful moves by pressing buttons on the front of the machine. A large knob turns the motorized fan around the circular track, carrying the ball around the mini-course.

The brain control part comes in when raising and lowering the ball (activating and deactivating the fan), which is all triggered via what the headset is reading from my little brain. To be specific, the control is done digitally: the headband senses concentration and relaxation, and raises and lowers the ball accordingly.

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