Strange head-tech inventions

by Baba

For decades, Man has tried to enhance his abilities with technology. The human body has frailties that we can reduce and strengths that we can enhance through the inspired and inventive use of gadgets and machines. Through science fiction and real life examples we have witnessed hydraulic exoskeletons capable of increasing our strength many times and a variety of implants designed to take over the functions of failing or damaged organs.  Bluetooth ear pieces may soon update us with the latest news from Richard Branson’s Virgin expeditions or world news and politics whilst on the move. Taken to extremes this push to humanity becoming cyborgs has left us anxious but fascinated at the reality of our existence. But we are still a little way off space part surgery turning us into Cybermen (the prescient worry of Dr Kit Pedler back when he created these enduring Doctor Who enemies in 1965).

Before you think this is going to turn into a cautionary tale please look at the picture below.


Right, now I think you can see where this is going and I can only guess at what Doc Brown was doing!  But this post covers head tech that, at its simplest, may help you get the latest music news at least.


Nintendo Wii dominates the popular market as the games console that will get you fit and improve your health. A slew of ‘brain training’ exercises also from Nintendo have been pushed as a possible ameliorator and even preventer of age-related mental dysfunction. As plausible as this latter claim may sound, though a recent study has found no corroborating evidence, Nintendo intended to merge the two and create the Wii Think: a brain scanning (EEG) game controller for the ‘senior gamer’.



Now, of course the merits have been debunked, this concept tech is going to stay on the drawing board. If Apple ever brought something like this out I’d imagine they would call it the i-Reckon.

Cosmetic Extraocular Implant


If you’re of the squeamish persuasion then this next item may not be for you. Body adornments seem unfeasibly popular right now with piercings becoming more and more socially acceptable no matter where you choose to have them. Freedom of expression and all that. For me, seeing someone with their eyebrow pierced gives me an involuntary shudder but if you don’t balk at that then maybe you will at this. It’s a corneal implant that serves no function other than cosmetic. But for how much longer? It’s certainly large enough to place a thin film computing device on.  For now it comes in the popular heart, star and musical note shapes but with others available on request. For those of you who want to know exactly where it goes, the manufacturer says it’s designed to sit in the interpalpebral conjunctiva.

Head Seatbelt


Protecting your head and neck in the event of a car crash is definitely a high priority. So what do you think of Hartmut Schmuecker from Germany with his invention of the forehead safety belt? Personally I think your neck will be in more danger with this device on.



Last year Honda’s world famous human shaped robot celebrated his 10th birthday.

Improvements to the human-robot interface came in 2009 which resulted in Honda’s employees now being able to use special headgear to read patterns of electric potential on the scalp as well as cerebral blood flow when they think about a limited range of specific movements. By analysing these thought patterns Asimo can now wirelessly receive and act on four simple movements: moving its right hand, left hand, trotting and eating.


Toshiba Bubble Helmet

Waaay back in 2006, Toshiba brought us the concept of the Bubble Helmet. Designed for gamers who wanted an immersive virtual reality gaming experience this weighty (2.7kg) helmet comprised a 40cm dome-shaped screen and speakers that would allow the wearer to effectively have a 360 degree field of vision and realistic surround sound. Unfortunately the sheer weight and ungainliness of the device will ensure it never goes into production.

Emotiv EPOC Neuroheadset


Retailing at around $300 this takes the latest developments in neurotechnology and presents us with the next step in innovative, new personal interfaces for human-computer interaction. According to the designers, ‘The Emotiv EPOC is a high resolution, neuro-signal acquisition and processing wireless neuroheadset.  It uses a set of sensors to tune into electric signals produced by the brain to detect player thoughts, feelings and expressions and connects wirelessly to most PCs.’

To control spatial awareness there are 14 saline sensors while its gyroscope generates positional information for cursor and camera controls. Being wireless it needs no trailing wires that would otherwise hamper and restrict movement. Although health and safety guidelines recommend you don’t play computer games for long periods, the lithium battery will run for 12 hours.

The first games and applications will be available from the Emotiv App Store and should include fantasy titles, creative applications and life changing apps for wheelchair bound people who could now use this device to remotely control their wheelchair or even type on a virtual keyboard. Using neural feedback, market researchers could learn how a person feels when presented with a range of advertising materials put in front of them. This bit of strange head technology is certainly something to keep your eye on.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: