Hunter Scott’s Mental Note takes a Star Wars Force Trainer toy, which contains EEG-style sensors, and hacks it to control musical notes Jedi Master style:
I remembered seeing the Star Wars Force Trainer when it came out and I really wanted to do something with it. Someone had done some work on reverse engineering the hardware and had found that the head piece used 3 contacts with the head to take an EEG. Then it sent the data wirelessly over a regular RF connection somewhere in the 2.4 GHz range. But most importantly, it turns out that there are header pins that were left in from testing and one of the pins gives a serial out!
So it’s really easy to interface with. That means you can control anything with your mind. So I started thinking, what would be cool to control with your mind. I thought maybe you could control Google Earth, or maybe update Facebook and Twitter with your mood, or maybe control a simple flash game. But all of those seemed like they might be too hard to control precisely, and they just didn’t seem cool enough. So then I thought about playing certain songs based on your mood. If you felt happy, then play upbeat music, if you feel sad, play sad music. But I was afraid that once you started listening to a song, you would get stuck in that mood and wouldn’t change.
And then I realized that it would be way cooler if you could create music. After some more thinking and talking over it with a friend, I came up with Mental Note.
By hacking the hardware and creating some custom software, Scott came up with a primitive way to control music with mind bullets.
While the concept is pretty cool – the actual output is probably best called a work in progress.
Check it out and let me know what you think!