InteraXon, in Toronto, Canada, wants to integrate thought-controlled computing into our lives. The team consists of artists, engineers, neuroscientists and designers. Since 2007, their work has focused on making brain-computer interfaces more accessible and affordable, according to InteraXon.
You may have seen InteraXon’s work during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. People in Vancouver demonstrated this technology by controlling lights on Niagara Falls, the CN Tower and the Canadian Parliament buildings in Ontario from more than 2,000 miles away with their brainwaves!
“In the development of our current, exciting project, we wanted brainwave technology to be available and accessible for everyone, so we have developed Muse,” Dani Cullimore, InteraXon researcher, advised RESCUECOM. “Muse is designed to be an everyday part of your life, and we crafted it to be as attractive, comfortable, light and intuitive as possible. We develop applications that address real life scenarios providing real life benefits, while also developing applications that inspire, educate and entertain.”
Muse is an adjustable headband you wear across your forehead. It can tell from your brainwaves when you experience stress, focus or relax. Using Bluetooth technology, Muse can report brainwave data to a smartphone app. According to InteraXon, Muse can help reduce stress, plus improve memory and concentration.
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At this writing, InteraXon has raised $113,874 of its $150,000 goal from 664 funders to mass produce Muse, through the Indiegogo campaign running through December 7. Those who pre-order Muse can expect to receive it in June 2013. Pledge levels of $145 and $165 get you a discounted Muse.
“Muse, our four-sensor EEG brainwave-sensing headband, is here to be the guide to the wonders of brainwave-enabled technology for all kinds of people, all over the world,” Cullimore continued. ”Beyond the initial app included with Muse will be apps created by ourselves and others. We’re releasing an SDK (Software Development Kit) for Muse, and with the developer’s and developer’s deluxe pledges, you’ll get a set of tools for analyzing and visualizing brain waves that we use in our lab. We’re really looking forward to seeing what people will come up with!”
“We also have use of our thought-controlled beer tap as one of our crowd-funding rewards,” Cullimore said. “We will fly anywhere in North America, to bring the tap to those who donate specifically for this reward, and will teach them how to pour a pint of beer with their minds! This is a really fun reward – you have to concentrate to get the tap to pour, and then put your mind in a measurable state of relaxation to stop the beer from pouring!”
While that is an entertaining use of the technology, let us hope that developers will envision more practical uses.
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