Brainwave detection in a Darth Vader outfit

The SFgate gives a quick overview of how Neurosky aims at building brain wave-reading toys and video games (use of EEG). Nothing really new compared to other announcement we read about this company but I was intrigued by the way the interface itself. The journalists describes it as a "crude biofeedback device cloaked in gimmicky garb":

"A convincing twin of Darth Vader stalks the beige cubicles of a Silicon Valley office, complete with ominous black mask, cape and light saber. But this is no chintzy Halloween costume. It's a prototype, years in the making, of a toy that incorporates brain wave-reading technology. Behind the mask is a sensor that touches the user's forehead and reads the brain's electrical signals, then sends them to a wireless receiver inside the saber, which lights up when the user is concentrating. The player maintains focus by channeling thoughts on any fixed mental image, or thinking specifically about keeping the light sword on. When the mind wanders, the wand goes dark. (...)"

(Associated Press photo by Paul Sakuma)

Why do I blog this? given the difficulties to use EEG (number of electrodes, calibration, use of gel), I found intriguing the use of this outfit. Besides, the convergence between toys/games industries with ubicomp technologies is fascinating.