There's something very odd, but also very obvious about what OpenBCI founders Conor Russomanno and Joel Murphy are doing.
On the one hand, reading people's brains is really strange. It's the stuff of weirdo science fiction like The Outer Limits. On the other hand, BCI is just another area of emerging technology.
During this week's lab Conor and Joel gave us the basics, and announced a new OpenBCI workshop series designed for the community.
But why do they do it?
One answer is it's about access, just as with any open source technology. Not just who can get access, but also can they extend or hack it, and how easy is it to get started?
The military are no doubt all over this and have the most advanced tech. It's under active, sustained development. So if the tech is going to exist and flourish there, shouldn't we all have access to it?
Step in the consumer tech industry. You can buy an Emotiv or Neurosky today. But the current crop of consumer devices are too simplistic for anything beyond novelty use.
There's a space in between military-grade and novelty tech for those who want to get there hands just a little dirtier. OpenBCI is aimed at artists, researchers, academics, and tinkerers who want to do more, and experiment with as many options on the table as possible.
So more power to them. If you are interested too, you can follow them @OpenBCI, or check out the upcoming meetups.