Muse: The Brain-Sensing Headband featured on Inidegogo.com is looking to change the way we interact with technology. Here’s what they have to say:
Everyone deserves a Muse.
Introducing Muse, our brainwave-sensing headband.
It’s a comfortable, sleek, four-sensor headband that allows you to control applications, games, reduce stress, improve memory and concentration, and eventually 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.
The neat thing is every time you use your brain with Muse and one of our applications, you’re strengthening it. And that will let you do more with your mind than you ever thought possible.
How does it work?
Your brain creates brainwave activity every moment of your life, day and night, awake or asleep. Each state is accompanied by specific brain wave patterns. For example, brains of people in relaxed states create gentle, slow-moving alpha waves, while those engaged in intense concentration generate quick, jagged beta waves.
Muse uses sensors to pick up the tiny electrical outputs generated by your brain’s activity. As you shift between states like concentration and relaxation, Muse’s algorithms detect the subtle changes in your brain and show you those changes in real time, just like a heart rate monitor can provide information about your physical activity.
These signals can be used in a number of ways. InteraXon is looking to use these brainwaves to interact with devices in the real world–devices that respond to your thoughts like turning off your smart phone when you are asleep or turning off the TV. But just as important is how seeing your brainwaves can help you learn more about yourself and improve yourself while strengthening your brain.
Muse sits across your forehead like a headband, and rests behind your ears like a pair of glasses. When properly worn, the EEG (electroencephalography) sensors on the front of the band make contact on your forehead, and the reference sensors on the arms rest on the backs of your ears. Muse connects wirelessly to your devices via Bluetooth. Once Muse is on, you’ll hardly notice it at all.
What else comes with Muse?
We’re including our first in-house application with Muse: our Integrated Brain Health system. It will guide you through a series of lessons delivered in beautiful virtual environments on your phone or tablet. Run through some exercises to sharpen your mind before delivering a speech. De-stress and detox your mind on the train ride home. Flood your brain with alpha waves and embark on a five-minute mental vacation.
It’s filled with fun, interesting and challenging exercises 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. Our brain training integrates cognitive and emotional exercises because we believe a healthy brain needs both to perform at its best.
This illustration of a focus training app shows how brainwave
data can help you track your progress over time
We decided to introduce this application with Muse because of discussions we had with people about their attempts to improve their mood and build a more positive outlook and the growing number of stress-related illnesses.
Despite best efforts, most people run into numerous stumbling blocks and eventually give up on trying to change the negative ways they think. The problem most had – developing practices to sustain concentration, relaxation, increase motivation, and maintain composure in stressful situations, among other things – was a lack of helpful, real-time feedback to know whether what they were doing was working. People simply didn’t know, whether they were getting closer to their goals or if they were performing the techniques right at all! Lacking direction and guidance, it’s no wonder most gave up.
This was the “A-ha!” moment for our first application.
With our background in brain-computer interfaces, we saw how EEG could provide meaningful and timely feedback to help people get past the usual stumbling blocks. So we’ve been working with experts who teach mental practices fusing their methods and our technology into gorgeous, compelling digital experiences for your iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
Who’s behind it?
InteraXon is an interdisciplinary team of artists & engineers, neuroscientists & designers. Our founders have been working with this technology for almost a decade. The team started to come together in 2007, and since then we’ve been working to make brain-computer interfaces an accessible, affordable reality.
One of our first projects was a recreation of a game
from Star Trek: The Next Generation
(click image for video)
We’re best known for the installation we created for Ontario at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. It allowed people in Vancouver to control the lights on Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, and the Canadian Parliament buildings from more than 3000k (over 2000 miles!) away, using only their brainwaves!
At the Vancouver Olympics, InteraXon let visitors use their brainwaves to control the lights on Niagara Falls,the CN Tower and the Canadian Parliament Buildings
(click image for video!)
Since then we’ve been building the coolest things we can think of. For Wrigley’s we created a system that turned users’ chews into jolts of electricity and floods of juice in a race to explode virtual fruits on screen. For the 2011 TEDxToronto afterparty we built a game where users raced to fill virtual martini glasses by concentrating — and rewarded the winner with real drink tickets!
Ariel showing off the “levitating” chair
which rose into the air as the user relaxed.
(click image for video)
From thought-controlled slot cars to brainwave-powered toasters. From levitating chairs to remote-controlled blimps. We’ve been playing and experimenting, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with this technology. It’s given us a profound understanding of what makes this technology work, what makes it fun, and what makes it meaningful. And all of that knowledge is built into Muse.
Our first ever tin-foil hat day was a big success.
Other people working on EEG spend most of their time thinking about the technology. At InteraXon, we’re thinking about solutions that make sense in everyday life for people just like you. It’s this focus that we think is going to make all the difference to you.
In 2010, we partnered with Secret Exit to make a brainwave-
powered version of the award-winning ZenBound 2
(click image for video!)
This is just the beginning.
We want Muse to be an everyday part of your life so 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 here to be the guide to the wonders of brainwave-enabled technology for people all over the world. Beyond the initial app included with Muse will be apps created by ourselves and others – maybe including you! We’re releasing an SDK (Software Development Kit) for Muse, and with the developers & developers deluxe pledges you’ll get a set of tools for analyzing and visualizing brain waves that we use in our lab.
And please, please, keep us in the loop about what you’re up to with your Muse on Facebook and Twitter. We can’t wait to see the sort of things people do with Muse, and, of course, we’ll eagerly pump up your projects to all of our friends and followers.
We need your help.
We’ve spent the last four years designing Muse and developing the algorithms that make brainwaves meaningful, and we’re ready to take the next step. But taking Muse from a prototype to a finished product means we need to purchase tooling (the parts that make the parts), order components, and build test equipment to make sure everything runs smoothly. And that stuff ain’t cheap.
Get a sweet InteraXon T-Shirt with a contribution of $45!
That’s why we’re asking you to help us fund our first production run. Muse can’t start changing the world until it’s in your hands, and that’s what this project is about. We’ve been playing, experimenting and building with this technology for years now, and we want to give the rest of the world access to amazing experiences and interactions as soon as we can. Your contributions will make that possible.
1. Are the Developer’s Perks compatible with Linux?
2. I just pledged to the Muse IndieGoGo campaign, and would like to request a headband colour. Where can i do this?
You can email InteraXon, stating the headband colour of your choice, to ‘community at interaxon dot ca’ (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please make sure to provide the full name that you used to place your order.