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It's not psychokinesis: brain-wave toys

14 August 2010. Those toys you've been reading about where people move things with their minds are not proof of concept, unfortunately, for opening your car trunk by thinking about it while carrying groceries in both arms. Sorry, you are light years away from being able to ignite your neighbor with your intentions. What is being touted in the media as psychokinesis or telekinesis is actually brain-wave technology. It's not science fiction and it involves physical contact via electrodes and electronic sensing devices. Reporter Shan Li demonstrates one of these toys, should you care to see one in action.

There is nothing paranormal about these toys. They do not really read your mind. But they do show that brain-wave technology may soon lead to useful devices for paraplegics and others needing assistance to move objects. Shan Li reports:

An array of consumer products, including games and smart-phone apps, operate by monitoring brain waves. The technology is being researched for automobile functions and for improving prosthetic limbs.

Stanley Yang, chief executive of NeuroSky, a company that provides the operating system for Mattel and Uncle Milton brain-wave games, says: "Telekinesis is just something in the movies....Telekinesis in its pure form is really impossible. But this technology is as close as you will get." Yes. And that's not very close at all. Those of us who follow the paranormal scene know that telekinesis isn't just in the movies, that there are scientists who devote their lives to trying to detect it by using such things as random event generators. But even believers in telekinesis like Charles Tart and Dean Radin must understand the nature and limits of brain waves, and would not claim that psychokinesis works by the ordinary laws of physics that explain how brain waves work. Brain-wave technology is worth investing in; psychokinesis is a pipe dream or a parlor trick.

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