Telekinesis might be science fiction, but the bar at the Casa Del Mar hotel is letting guests pretend they’ve got supernatural powers by using their minds to make a ball levitate or bowl a strike in video games.
The Santa Monica hotel is hosting a weekly event called Mind Game Mondays where guests can test out games from technology company Neuro-Sky that they control by concentrating their thoughts.
James Barela, general manager of Casa Del Mar, said his guests have come to expect a little more than darts.
“We’re a company that’s always looking for unique things to do that you can’t find anywhere else,” he said.
Enter NeuroSky of San Jose, which has developed a headset that measures the electrical currents that the brain emits. It then transmits that signal to a video game on a TV or computer screen.
So for the past month, Casa Del Mar has set up several headsets in its lounge for guests to try while they’re sipping drinks. The object of one game is to make a virtual Red Bull can explode. In another, players concentrate on pulling to win a cybergame of tug of war.
Barela said the mind games have been a hit with guests.
“It attracts their attention,” he said. “We find that people sit at the tables and wonder what the heck is going on.”
The technology has other applications, such as helping people learn to concentrate or relax, said Tansy Brook, communications director at NeuroSky.
The company offers some free games on its website and sells others for as much as $30. It also sells programs such as a math exercise and a meditation application.
The company has been setting up exhibitions to let people try out the games, Brook said. But Casa Del Mar is the first hotel with a weekly mind game night. No money is changing hands in the deal.
“A lot of times people see our technology and say, ‘This can’t be possible,’” she said. “We want to give people a chance to try it themselves.”
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