NeuroSky, Inc. manufactures Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technologies for consumer product applications. One of their products is the MindWave Mobile headband, a lightweight, wireless device that detects and transmits electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) signals to a computer. A number of software programs have been developed around this device for research, meditative and entertainment applications. In this experiment human machine technologies explore real-time device control using the MindWave for potential assistive/adaptive technology applications.
This experiment is an extension of the earlier work on combining MindWave and Kinect data streams, only this time we’re controlling a physical device using the Attention and Meditation data from the NeuroSky MindWave brainwave monitor. (Note: there are no Kinect interactions in this demonstration.) There are a few concepts we’re attempting to demonstrate in this experiment, which are described below.
The first concept is that brainwave training and conditioning can be achieved more readily through interactions with a real-world device that responds roughly in real-time to the brainwave data streams. In this experiment they have mapped the X-Axis servo control to the meditative brain state, and the Y-Axis servo control to the attentive brain state. (Note that about halfway through the video the MindWave headband is temporarily lifted from the forhead, as evidenced by the “Bad Signal” indicator on the screen increasing and camera movement stopping.)
Our observation was that focusing on a live (immersive) video stream coming from a brainwave-controlled camera, as well as fixing your gaze on the camera movement itself, enhances one’s ability to affect a change on servo positioning. As opposed to focusing one’s attention on a software-generated graph or numerical readout of the MindWave data stream, the movement of the camera itself shifts you from an analytical state of trying to change a number on a screen to a more subliminal state of “wishing” the camera to focus on an object that you want to see.
In this experiment they positioned a costume mask of Albert Einstein (i.e., an object of interest) on a pedestal in the upper right-hand corner of the room. To focus the camera on this object requires maximizing both the Attention and the Meditation states coming from the MindWave sensor; this essentially requires a calm state of focus. In our brief experimentation we observed that attempting to control a physical device is much more intuitive than staring at numbers or graphs on a screen.