22 July 2010

How to Control Things With Your Mind FOR REAL

I'm not sure how this escaped my notice, but technology that uses BRAINWAVES to control machines is now SO ACCESSIBLE that they've built it into kids' toys. That's right, they're making toys where you can put on a headset and control the movement of objects with YOUR MIND. Is anybody else peeing their pants right now?

Of course the first toy was packaged as Star Wars merch: The Force™ Trainer. The reason I found out about this is that the Force™ Trainer is sold by Uncle Milton, the company that mainstreamed the Ant Farm. Uncle Milton has sold over 20 million plastic formicariums since 1956, and happens to own the brand name "Ant Farm." Uncle Milton ant farms are the ant farms you think of when you hear the phrase ant farm, where a quaint farm scene preserved in green plastic provides an absurd backdrop for dozens of mail order ants to build tunnels aimlessly until the colony dies out for lack of a queen. I had one as a kid, and I kind of want another one. But I want to catch my own queen so that the colony can thrive. Also I want mine to be like that one on Mad Men, classy and made of wood.

Anyhow, in 2009 Uncle Milton introduced The Force™ Trainer to the world at a convention in Vegas.  You put on an EEG headset and concentrate, and electrical impulses from your brainwaves control a fan that moves a ball up and down inside of a tube.  The Trainer was followed by Mind Flex from Mattel, which uses similar technology but you can move the ball in more dimensions.

I found the following video from CNN in a Google search, which demonstrates the Uncle Milton toy in action.  The video also shows the same technology being used to control a small cart, which seems like a more promising application than toys.  Imagine people with conditions that affect their movement being able to control their own environments with their minds!  Other possible uses include cars than can detect and protect drowsy drivers, and iPhone apps that help you measure and manage your stress levels.

The video also points out a slightly more puzzling application for the EEG technology...reality TV shows.  What?

Of course the other option is telekinesis.  Why use all this complicated technology when you can just move stuff in your mind naturally?  According to wingmakers.co.nz, telekinetic energy is "natural...we all have the ability to perform telekinesis it's just a matter of learning the ability. It is primarily a Mind/Brain/Consciousness related phenomenon though certainly its roots are sub-atomic like all manifestations...It is inherent, like walking, talking, breathing. We simply neglect it from day one. A common theory is that TK works by energy fields (magnetic or electric) or by "waves" of psychic energy, which are actually dense enough to push/repel an object. Most people's only encounter with TK is accidental- something mysteriously falls over or objects fly around a room, a phenomena often mistaken for a poltergeist when it may actually be a person with spontaneous telekinetic powers."

Cough cough (bullshit) cough cough. Somebody needs to do a little reading on basic physics, starting with the law of conservation of momentum.


Karina said...

I just found your Ant Farm cleaning out the shed last weekend. You can take it back to Santa Cruz when you come back next month.

And why tell the parapsychologists about psychics? It would only contribute to our spiraling unemployment.

BTW, the CNN link didn't work for me.

zbuck said...

Yes! Ant farm. I'll investigate the link. I'm assuming you meant physics, not psychics, right?

Craig Faustus Buck said...

Just read about this in the L.A. Times business section this a.m. Is that where you found it?

You just spent a hellish month getting rid of the ant farm in your kitchen. Are you sure you want to start over?

The CNN link only worked when I opened it in an IE tab, but then when I went back to Chrome afterward, it appeared there, too. Not sure what happened.

Karina said...

Ha! Yes, I meant physics! Sorry, I am writing a script for a DVD doc on "Hereafter"....

zbuck said...

That wasn't an ant farm, that was a wild ant wilderness!