MindLink

 

Based on the same principle as Synapse's RELAX system, the MindLink would let you control games with your thoughts. In reality, the controller responds to facial muscle movements. The system consisted of a headband with 3 sensors on it which was attached to a transmitter, which was powered by a 9-volt battery. The receiver module plugged into the VCS and translated the incoming "brainwaves" into usable game inputs. 3 MindLink games have been found to date: Bionic Breakthrough, Mind Maze, and Telepathy. An internal status listing dated 8-1-84 states "Manual and design complete." John Skruch stated in the January 1996 issue of Ultimate Gamer, "Only paddle-type games were designed to be used with the MindLink, including a skiing game, and a Breakout variant (Bionic Breakthrough). Two distinct versions of the ML were to be made- one for the 2600/7800, and one for the 8-bit computers."  He also suggested the reason for its cancellation was because the suggested retail price was too high ($70-$80).  From Tom Palecki: "Barry Marshall did the design for the MindLink Head Band Controller. I donít remember how it came about, but I ended up designing the logo for that controller, which I worked up based visually on what a brain wave scan might look like in letter form." The controller was shown at the 1984 Summer CES show and planned for release in the 3rd Quarter of 1984, along with 3 cartridges, but was cancelled after Tramiel's takeover.  Retail price was to be under $100. The October 1984 issue of Electronic Games (pg. 13) states it would retail for about $79.

Photos #1 and #2 are an early design.  Photos #3 and #4 is the final prototype design.  Photo #2 shows another early design being used to play what appears to be a version of Telepathy.  Photos #5 - #8 appeared in the Ultimate Gamer article (John Skruch is wearing an early prototype in the last photo). 

 

 

 

 


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