Small parts should not be ingested
What do the big parts taste like?
As Emotiv Systems’ Epoc neuroheadset is currently going through a rocky patch, Barbie maker Mattel has stepped in with what's rumoured to be a similar type of brainwave toy. Mattel_Mindflex Mattel's Mindflex moves a ball according to brainwave activity Mattel’s keeping mum about the technology behind its Mindflex game, but …
No question about it.
The guts of this beast are quite obviously a rehash of Mattel's Harry Potter levitating challenge game. My kids used to have one. Ok, it's now in white and pastel colours rather than brown (pseudo wood), black and other such less tech-friendly shades, but it's the same thing.
If you don't believe me, link: http://www.toymania.com/columns/spotlight/hplevgame.shtml
I reckon that you wind the knob on the front to move the fan around the circuit. The ball stays in the airstream courtesy of Bernoulli. The headset does something to control the altitude of the ball (fan speed). The Potter thing used to come with a handle to control fan power that also made the Potter figure in the middle wave his wand up and down.
Conclusion: Mattel seeking to get some extra cash out of a long obsolete product by rehashing it to appeal to a new audience.
The foam ball is flown around with an upward blast of air from a hole in the track and the track rotates around underneath the obstacles.
Bernoulli effect keeps the ball hovering and by adjusting the speed of a fan pushing the air you control the ball through the obstacles.
I got something a pretty similar for my five year old last Christmas, but it had a simple lever instead of mind control.
It's actually quite good fun. Don't know how edible it was though, not tried that.
I'd start by having an elasticated headband with a few straingauges (or even just switches) embedded in it, so it could detect movements of the facial muscles. I'm sure that would be a hell of a lot cheaper to manufacture, more reliable, and give the user a better illusion of mind control, than anything which purported to detect actual brainwaves.
It doesn't matter how it works. It won't be appreciated by the kids, who will, of course, find more fun in either the cardboard box, or rolling the ball around on the floor until it rolls under the sofa, when it's "Dad, can you get the ball for me...."
Now, mind control over the kids - I'd buy THAT for a dollar!
Is this for training your kids in the ways of the force? "Fighting your sister leads to the dark side my young sprog, who's turn it is matters not"
The new Scientologists E-meter 2.0? *gullible fool moves ball* " Wow Sir, ever thought of battling Xenu?, and can you setup a direct debit"
Psh - as if! To achieve the levitation, Mattel has obviously modified a Vulcan psionic amplifier. Parents had better hope their kids are full of only good intentions...
(oh man - I can't believe I just wrote that lol. In my defense, I was a TNG fan *as a kid* - I'm not the comic book guy from The Simpsons - I swear! 8)
... If anyone remembers Back to the Future II, where Marty McFly is in the future (2015) in the "Cafe 80s" showing a young sprog how to work an old 80's cowboy gunman game. The kid replies scornfully, "You mean you have to use your HANDS? That's like a babies' toy!"
Here it comes, folks... still waiting for Mattel to come up with those hoverboards, though...
And WHERE'S MY FLYING CAR?!?
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