Growing those tendrils of connection

Adam Smith’s theory of the market was a theory of human connection – which I tried to bring out in this essay. Anyway, it’s not surprising that with the passage of over a quarter of a millennium, that connection is becoming closer or at least developing new facets. Or perhaps after the age of commerce that Smith spoke of – where buyers and sellers were known to each other – we’ve been in the age of mass market relations. And new possibilities are emerging.

A guy called Doc Searles has written a book on The Intention Economy. I’ve listened to a Russ Robert’s interview with him and it’s not that exciting. At this stage I’m not even listening to the end of the interview, much less buying the book – which strikes me as one of those ‘books of the article’. It would probably be good to read as the article. Anyway, perhaps I’m wrong and it’s all really interesting.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing this is that I’ve just come across a great example of the internet being used to improve signalling between producers and consumers. Emotiv is a great Australian company founded by Melbournian Tan Le. It’s headquartered in San Francisco right now, but has an office in Sydney though it has most of its employment in Vietnam. It makes headsets that ‘read your mind’ by detecting biofeedback from your head. This can then be used as a control – much like a mouse. How much use it will be for gaming is an open question – right now, as one might imagine, controlling a cursor is easier and more precise with a mouse.

But the device can be used for profoundly disabled people to control their wheelchair and other things. It can be used to monitor and optimise educational performance – by providing feedback on when students are actually engaged for instance – as opposed to zoning out.

Anyway, Emotive has a problem which is to decide what level of features to build into its next generation device (pictured above) – which is very natty compared with its original commercial offering – which wasn’t too bad, but nothing on this. It could ask its customers, and potential customers, but there’s a willingness to pay problem. Just because someone says they’d like a feature doesn’t mean they’ll pay for it. Enter Kickstarter.

We are excited to unveil exclusive images of the Emotiv Insight in a new Stealth color option, which will be made available to Kickstarter backers from 11am PST August 16, 2013. We’ve created some special offers just for you, in appreciation of your early support as EPOC owners.

We’re making a Limited Edition Emotiv Insight, which will be marked with a special Insignia. These will be collector’s items! To qualify, existing EPOC or EEG users that back the Emotiv Insight Kickstarter (at the $199 Pledge or higher) will be able to choose to receive the special Limited Edition Emotiv Insight. At the end of the campaign, we’ll provide backers with a code to redeem your Limited Edition Emotiv Insight.

You’ll also receive an exclusive invite to join our Innovation Hackathon (either live or virtually), so that you can take part, no matter where you are in the world! Details on the Innovation Hackathon will be announced January 2014. We’ll be providing awesome prizes for the top applications! Please stay tuned for further details.

We are less than $250,000 away from our first stretch goal to incorporate 6-axis inertial sensors. If you haven’t already done so, please reserve your Emotiv Insight today, and help us spread the word about this revolutionary new headset!

And here I am, spreading the word, just like they’ve asked me to.

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10 years ago

Kickstarter, and projects dearer to you like kaggle, are very good reasons to be excited about the future.

Now if we could only work out a few ways to get more of them in Australia!