New iPhone app taps into mind control


This is the first public showing of an iPhone app controlled by your thoughts. "Tug of Mind" lets you take a picture of someone who stresses you out, add animation, and sound. Then train yourself to stay calm and put your source of stress to sleep.

The app works in concert with the "mindset" - a brain wave-reading headset developed by San Jose-based Neurosky. You pretend like you're going to sleep and think happy thoughts and an object in a game will float.

To help market the mindset and about 20 new games, Neurosky mentors the Future Business Leaders of America at Cupertino's Homestead High School.

"We get an insight into how the business world works right now. We have courses at our school, so we apply what we learn in the classrooms and take that to the streets to really market it to the people," says Jasmine Stoy, a Homestead student.

The relationship is mutually beneficial. Neurosky execs tap into a marketing world that's becoming less driven by popular mass media and more driven by word of mouth.

"High school level seems to be really the hotbed where word of mouth adoption, both online and offline happens. And having our finger corporate-wise on what the kids are doing today, at the high school level, is a very important element to corporate marketing," says David Westendorf, the vice president of Neurosky.

"It used to be you'd try to tap into a famous university graduate laboratories," says Charles Huang, a Guitar Hero creator.

Huang says technology's pace makes it impossible to build a curriculum at a traditional university, so more Silicon Valley companies are cultivating the pool of talent themselves.

"The way they think about technology and the uses of technology are completely different from the way you and I might think about it, and that's the creativity that students bring that you try to tap into," says Huang.

So it is a generation that's driving an industry that is now more profitable than Hollywood.

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