Have you ever wanted to move objects like a Jedi Master using only your thoughts? So did Tan Le. As a Vietnamese refugee growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Le was blown away by the movie Star Wars, especially the part where Luke Skywalker moved objects with his mind. While all kids (and adults too!) dream about having this ability, Le decided to do something about it.

For Le, it was a long road from refugee to Jedi Master. After settling in Melbourne in 1982, Le worked hard at her studies, entering the university at age 16.

Her success paid off. In 1998, she earned her first of many notable awards, being named Young Australian of the Year and Ambassador for the Status of Women. More awards followed: Australia’s 30 Most Successful Women Under 30, Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010, and Forbes: 50 Names You Need to Know in 2011.

Though she earned her degrees in law and business from Monash University, the dream of using the power of the mind was her real passion. In 2003, she co-founded a neuroengineering company that developed the breakthrough interface technology used in her Emotiv EEG headsets.

Brainwear technology is the new “hands-free” technology

EEG headsets are affordable, wearable, and consumer usable versions of EEG technology. EEG, short for electroencephalography, is the method used to record the electrical activity of the brain. Using special software or enabled devices, you can use the EEG feedback to control virtual and physical objects with your thoughts alone.

The brainwear devices, which look a little like tiaras, allow you to use your mind to move virtual software or, more tangibly, propel toy race cars on a track. While this kind of mental manipulation is all fun and games, there are more serious applications for this “hands-free” technology.

Le recently had a stunning breakthrough. Just like Luke Skywalker moved from lifting rocks to lifting an X-Wing starfighter, Emotiv headsets have moved from propelling toy race cars to driving real race cars.

In 2017, while using a specially equipped Emotiv helmet, a quadriplegic Brazilian man—Rodrigo Hübner Mendes—was able to drive a Formula 1 racing car with his thoughts alone.

The many applications of brainwear

While you can’t move any object with your thoughts just yet, Le sees our future as full of synergistic possibilities between humans and machines. Soon everyone will be able to use their minds to control virtual and physical devices in their homes and offices.

EEG headsets, like Emotiv’s, will revolutionize how the physically disabled interact with the physical and virtual world, from typing on a computer and moving a wheelchair to driving a car in traffic.

Brainwear devices will also help you enrich your personal growth and development. By being able to track your own brainwaves, you will be to use the neurofeedback to develop emotional control, meditate more deeply, and relax more easily.

Finally, the future is great for research. All the data from these headsets will help scientists extend our understanding of how the brain works. Already, data from these headsets is being uploaded to databases where researchers can access it to study all manners of brain diseases, language processing, and how we solve problems.

While the day of being a Jedi Master hasn’t arrived yet—it’s no longer in a galaxy far, far away.