You Read My Mynd

March 25, 2011

Rheanna Sand

Capitalism is a powerful force behind scientific discovery. I have accepted this. As much as scientists like to believe that only pure curiosity leads to great innovations, the profit motive has advanced the developed world and provided many conveniences. Hello, iPad 2! (Bastards. I'm sticking with vintage.)

But now, capitalism seems to be creating technology to serve itself... with a side benefit that it could actually help people, too.

NeuroFocus, a neuromarketing firm (I didn't know there was such a thing) has created a futuristic brain-scanning headset called Mynd that was designed to measure the real-time brain waves of shoppers, whether they are on the couch watching commercials, browsing the web, or at the mall using their feet to move around (yes, people still do this). This is because Mynd is the first headset to have dry electroencephalographic or EEG sensors, eliminating the use of messy gels, and has a wireless and stylish ergonomic design. Now you can be one with the Borg anywhere you go!



The makers of this admittedly cool innovation are not shy in stating that the goal of this product is to give "insights into how consumers perceive brands, products, packaging, in-store marketing, and advertising at the deep subconscious level in real time." Basically, this device can pick up things that interest you by correlating blips on the EEG to whatever it is you were looking at. The secondary benefit is that a European group will be using Mynd in research on patients with neurological diseases and spinal cord injury.

That probably won't satisfy the critics, however. Groups like the Center for Digital Democracy are pushing for more regulations on neuromarketing, and feel that firms like NeuroFocus are engaging in "new forms of subliminal persuasion." The company feels they are just honing in on what consumers really want.

What do you think? Would you wear the helmet to see better ads? Should this technology be used only for medical research? Do you miss those messy gels? I want to hear from you!



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