The XWave is a headset that looks exactly like the headset on a Star Wars mind control toy my son got for Christmas last year, which is because it's from the same company. The headset plugs into the headphone port on your iPhone or iPod touch and has an additional port built-in for listening to music with headphones. There are two free apps that you can downloads to go with the XWave right now and other apps are going to be added as time goes by. The XWave sells for $99.99.
I had a house full of people for Thanksgiving this week and I whipped out the headset and had people give the XWave and its free XWave Visualizer app a go. The guys thought it was cool, but almost unanimously the women though it was dorky and didn’t; want to try it out. After some coaxing, everyone ended up trying the thing out.
The headset runs on a single AAA battery and plugs into the headphone port on the iPhone or iPod touch. If you want to use the XWave Tunes app to let it pick music based on your brain you can hook earphones into an extra port on the XWave cord to use the XWave and your headphones at once.
The visualize app is not a game as much as it's just an app that lets you see what your brain is doing according to the market. There are little dials for attention and meditation with other bars that jump up and down that I honestly have no idea what the purpose is for. In the middle of the screen is a circle graph that has a circle that changes color and jumps around to point to different brain wave types the thing senses.
I guess as a signal of my cluttered mind, the circle just randomly jumped around for me. I did find on a few occasions I could make the line head towards one of the indicators on the circle by thinking about it. I do want to say that it could well have been a coincidence though because I could not do it all the time. Another section of the app has you making a ball float and tracks the brain waves sensed. There is also a section called nirvana that has lights and waves that change based on your thoughts.
The whole thing is a bit strange to me. Everyone that tried it out asked me the same question - what's the point of this thing? All I could say was, I'm not sure. The main idea is that you will be able to use the brain interface to control apps eventually. Right now, the apps offered are honesty boring. The XWave Tunes app is a bit more interesting in that it promises to choose a song based on your mood as detected from your brain waves.
The catch is that you have to put the headset on and listen to each of your tracks fully for it to work. If you have a lot of music, that will take a long time. I think this is an interesting concept but right now it really has no point other than novelty and at $99, I really want a purchase to do something useful and I don’t see that usefulness here yet.
If you are the sort that is really into concentration and meditation this might appeal to you. Geeks hoping to be able to control their iPhone with their brain will need to wait until some compelling apps are offered before dropping their $99.
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