Wearable technology the next frontier… brain reading with the InterAxon Muse headset

Muse_Interaxon_wearable_headset_unboxed

After backing Muse on Indiegogo I received my brain sensing wearable technology headset. Brain sensing! It doesn’t understand what you are thinking about but it more provides an understanding of the activity of your brain. In the box there is the headset, micro usb cable to charge the headset, a read me book and a legal document.

The process of turning on the headset and connecting it to my iPhone was straight forward as it is added as a you would any other device. I then began to try out the Muse Calm app and it is nicely laid out. The first session you do with the headset has the preamble for what the headset is doing and how to use it which does take about 5 minutes or so. Sadly you cannot keep skipping through but it does take you through how to put it on your head correctly which is a little fiddely.

Once fitting the headset was complete I ran a ‘session’ which involves trying to keep your brain calm for 3 up to 20 minutes depending on your session length selected. This session firstly starts with a small calibration saying close your eyes and think of items in a category such as magazines, fictional characters, fruit etc. After this you are on to the main session counting your breathing in and out and this is shown on the app as keeping the clouds at a virtual beach clear the more you keep calm. When your brain becomes active the winds begin to blow. After the session you can review your data as shown in the below images

Muse Headset brain activity

You are also able to keep track of your sessions against you as an individual:
Muse Calm headset app

 

Why am I interested in a brain sensing headset?

There are several applications that I see this kind of device making a difference. Here are some of my ideas:

  1. Testing an app or website – if we take an application that a user has to move through and applying the headset to they to analyse what they are doing and when would provide insight into where a user was having to think and their brain was most active. This would be useful for working out decision points for the user and difficult UX and UI of the site/application.
  2. General health checking of the brain – I definitely find it difficult to unplug. This takes it to another level by looking at what my brain is doing. Potentially this may have benefits within the medical field.
  3. Business interactions – I think it could be very useful if eventually we could think about what we needed and the system would understand and could perform the correct action. Admittedly this is likely to be a long way off.

Where now?

Well there is some demo code from Interaxon that uses the muse on an iOS device so I think it is going to be looking at developing an application. Watch this space.

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