California State University, Fullerton

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Orange County Register

Mind Games

Jan. 3, 2014

Undergraduate students Hayden Donze and Adrian Iniguez, both 23, have ambitious career plans.

Donze wants a job comparable to Peter Norvig's. He's director of research at Google Inc. Iniguez wants to build the spaceships that will mine natural resources on asteroids.

They both plan to get doctoral degrees. For now, they lead brain-computer interface projects at Cal State Fullerton.
Donze demonstrates. He puts on a headset that allows him to play a video game on a PC without using his hands. The wireless headset doesn't “read” his mind. Rather, the 16 electrodes detect electrical signals in his brain. Software interprets his brain wave data.

If a player is bored, frustrated or agitated, the game can adapt to the player, Donze said. “It takes a lot of data processing to get there.” The software has to be trained to associate the brain wave patterns with the player's intentions.

Specifically, Donze is developing “middleware” that software companies, such as Santa Monica-based Riot Games, can use to make games for the headset. The middleware would connect the headset software to a game.

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