The next time Jack Byrnes of "Meet the Parents" gives Greg Focker a lie detector test, it's probably going to be as simple as plonking on headphones. Toshiba, teaming up with manufacturer NeuroSky, now has a pair of consumer headphones equipped with a brainwave sensor.
Showcased at a recent Continua Health Alliance health care and tech event, the device won't cost you a pretty penny. Nor do you need to duck into an MRI machine to check out your brainwaves. More interestingly, it's probably a more effective lie detector since, unlike the polygraph which measures fluctuations in heart rate and breathing, this can scan the brain response.
Embedded with Bluetooth, the headphones can be hooked up easily to a computer, where the Brain-wave Visualizer software can view brainwave activity in real time.
The potential, of course, is limitless. While NeuroSky's $199 brainwave-sensing MindSet headphones can show you how you're reacting to different sounds and rhythms, Toshiba is imagining various health care applications for its version of the headphones. Aside from the fact that it can sense whether you're flatlined, the device could diagnose something as simple as sleep disorders or be used by developing robots assistants to read the brainwaves of the elderly and disabled.
Now all we need is a commercial rollout.