Meet Muse – Technologies using brain power
“It’s a comfortable, sleek, four-sensor headband that allows you to control games, reduce stress, improve memory and concentration, and eventually to control devices directly with your mind.
Muse measures your brainwaves in real-time. It sends those brainwaves to your smart phone or tablet showing you how well your brain is performing; and also translates your brainwaves into instructions to interact with content on your iOS or Android device.
Muse let’s you do more with your mind.”
This is how InterAxon presents its new product, Muse. The new gadget was introduced to the public in Las Vegas, at the Consumer Electronics Show, in January 2013.
Muse is an EEG (Electroencephalography) headband which determines what kind of brainwaves you are producing and includes a Brain Health package which helps you change them.
Using Muse, “You can listen more carefully to what’s going on inside the brain, understand the relationship between brain activity and emotions and gain more control over your emotional state,” explains Ariel Garten, the CEO of InterAxon.
Brainwaves are patterns of electrical activity in the brain that can be measured by an EEG via contacts on the scalp. The electroencephalograms show different brainwaves pattern: Beta (12-30 Hz), Alpha (12- 7.5 Hz), Theta (7.5-4 Hz), Delta (4-1 Hz), Gamma (over 30 Hz). From these types of brainwaves, Muse detects predominantly beta (corresponding to the awareness state) and alpha (semiconscious, dreamy state) waves from four points on the scalp: the temples and behind the ears. The information measured by Muse is sent to the phone.
Muse headband comes with the Brain Health system which is set of lessons delivered in beautiful virtual environments on phone or tablet. It includes several types of exercises like focusing for sharpening your mind before delivering a speech, de-stressing exercises and visualization in a five-minute mental vacation through alpha waves. Brain Health guide was created to help you build health brain habits such as: better attention skills, improving your memory, reducing anxiety, building a more positive attitude and staying motivated.
With Muse, InterAxon focused more on the inner exploration rather than external control. For the future, the Interaxon team is planning to make some improvements for Muse so that it will enable home users to use it for multiple external applications, ranging from control of household electric appliances, to the control of computer applications and even to the opening of the garage doors with the power of mind. Other companies or institutes, like Nicolelis Laboratory, are already further on the path of determining the interactions of brain waves with the outside world. Their scientific research is more oriented to the neuroprosthetics field. Over the years, Nicolelis’ research team has developed a brain-cap system for monkeys that can pick up neural signals in almost 2,000 channels simultaneously, and send them wirelessly to a computer for processing. Monkeys learnt to use their brain waves to control robotic arms or manipulate virtual objects on a computer screen. The goal of Nicolelis is to develop and implement the first Brain Machine Interface capable of restoring full mobility to patients suffering from a severe degree of paralysis, by creating a full body external skeleton that could be controlled through brainwaves.