Wearable Tech: The Muse Brain Sensing Headband
If you have had the opportunity to read any of my previous articles, chances are by now that you have discovered that I have an extreme fascination with wearable technology. Such products as Google Glass, smartwatches and even VR (virtual reality) headgear all fascinate me to no end. The prospect of enhancing the physical world through cool tech devices is one of my personal Holy Grails.
The other side to my coin is that I love peace and tranquility like a fat kid loves cake. Meditation is a daily part of my routine, something I find to be extremely helpful at quieting a mind constantly running with extraneous information.
Combine these two passions together and you have someone who virtually leaped out of his seat in excitement at the possibilities that the Muse makes available.
The Muse, developed and produced by InteraXon, is billed as a “brain sensing headband,” and works much like an EEG (electroencephalogram). At first glance, the device looks similar to behind-the-head headphones, like the Motorola S10-HD. Only instead of putting the band behind you neck, it would wrap around your forehead.
The Muse works by measuring the infinitesimal signals produced by the brain during activity, which are then analyzed by the hardware and app that runs it. Calibration is the fist step, which consists of a soothing voice taking you through different steps that will allow the Muse to record your brain in an active state. This is followed by a period of breathing exercises, designed to help you put yourself in as relaxed a state as possible.
The Muse app works as a game, with points being scored based on the level of calm you have achieved. Different rewards are given for longer periods of deeper relaxation, incentivizing the process of achieving a zen-like state.
A game approach is probably one of the best directions this type of device could take. Most people have difficulty relaxing, even those who meditate on a daily basis. As a result, providing incentive and making the activity a game will definitely help people learn the basic tenants needed to calm their mind.
The potential applications for this type of device are limitless. For example, brain activity can be recorded during a movement or spoken word and then associated with an action by the software. This can open the door to controlling different tech devices, just by thinking it.
The Muse is reasonably priced at around $300 and is available now. If you want to achieve a much calmer and more satisfying life, the Muse may just be what the doctor ordered.