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Mind controlled apps hit the market

April 14, 2011 |  7:36 pm

Mindreading Science fiction fans who have dreamed of having "the force" are in luck.

Two apps -- controlled and operated by mental power -- are now on sale in the Apple App Store from app developer MindGames in Iceland.

The Times previously reported on the mind-reading trend. The technology works using headsets that read brain waves and are essentially simplified and portable versions of electroencephalograph — or EEG — machines used in hospitals for decades to record brain activity.

One game app, dubbed W.I.L.D., rolled out last month for the iPhone and iPad for $4.99. By concentrating and relaxing, players navigate dream landscapes and complete tasks like putting out fires, bending spoons and creating galaxies "with the power of your mind,"  MindGames said in a statement.

The company's first app launched in December. Tug of Mind purports to train users how to relax under pressure. After uploading a headshot -- of an ex-boyfriend, say, or a mother-in-law -- the photo is transformed into an angry avatar that screams insults (you prerecord the message). The avatar starts smiling if the player remains calm; keep it up and the game is won. Price tag: $4.99.

Both games require a headset that reads brain waves, such as the Neurosky MindWave ($99.95) or the PLX XWave (price starts at $99.99).

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-- Shan Li

Photo: Demonstration of Tug of Mind app. Credit: MindGames via Apple App Store

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