A wearable devices that reads brainwaves

In this segment, we learn about a new headset that is known as a brain-wearable device. This device reads brain waves in real time, providing feedback that enables the user to improve creativity, reduce stress and increase focus. It could be the next big leap in digital technology, with applications for gaming, the disabled, the military and medicine.

TRANSCRIPT

In this segment, we learn about a new headset that's known as a brain wearable device.

This device reads brain waves in real time, providing feedback that enables the user to improve creativity, reduce stress, and increase focus.

It could be the next big leap in digital technology, with applications for gaming, the disabled, the military, and medicine.

Here's the story.

Devices to measure brain activity have been around for decades, but they've been really confined to medical and research context because they're really expensive and hard to use and really take experts to analyze the data.

So, we've developed wearable and easy-to-use EEG devices, which measure voltage fluctuations from the brain.

And, so, because they're, you know, easy to use but also provide really professional-grade data, it opens up all these different applications that were not possible before.

So not just, you know, limiting brain data to these medical and research contexts, but opening up for applications in gaming and applications for the disabled community and even helping us to better understand brain disease and disorders.

This is our 14-channel EPOC device.

So, it's an EEG, electroencephalography, and it measures voltage fluctuations from the brain using these sensors on the scalp.

And it has many fewer sensors than the ones you may see in a hospital, but the important thing is that it covers all major cortical lobes of the brain, as opposed to, say, just the front part of the brain.

And this is really important, because different parts of the brain do different things, and so we really want to get a good understanding of what's going on across the different areas.

And this device uses saline, as opposed to a gel solution, which a lot of the medical devices use.

So it's quite easy.

You don't have to wash your hair right afterwards.

And we actually have an even-easier-to-use device, our five-channel Insight, which is a dry sensor.

It actually sucks moisture from the air and from your scalp in order to get a good contact.

This system has been used quite a lot in gaming applications, for example, so as a new user interface in the way of interacting with machines, and also by the disabled community.

You know, we've heard a lot today about, you know, people that still have a lot going on in their brain but has lost the ability to really respond and act in the world.

Well, how can we use these devices to actually bridge that gap there?

Here, three disabled musicians use this technology to create a song -- not by using their hands, but their brains.

[ Techno music playing ]

Where do you think this all goes?

I mean, this is a relatively new technology with a ton of applications, but, as we know technology is ever-evolving.

Where do you think this technology goes in 10 or 20 years?

Yeah, well, I think within the next 10 years, we're gonna see a lot of activity.

This last year, particularly, has been really exciting for the space.

You know, Facebook has announced they're working on brain media to telepathy, and Bryan Johnson of Braintree and Elon Musk are each working on neural implantable devices.

So there's a lot of interest and movement in this space.

We're certainly gonna see the form factor of these devices becoming more and more discreet, right?

So, this is, you know, a really quite easy-to-put-on, easy-to-use headset, but I look really weird wearing it and I'm not necessarily gonna go walk down the street with this on, right?

And that's where a lot of the real value will come is when these devices can be worn ubiquitously throughout someone's day.

And so there's that kind of technological step, in terms of for more consumer use, to short of shrink the form factor down, which will require advances on both the hardware and the algorithm-development side.

You know, putting aside what we kind of traditionally think of as brain diseases and disorders, like, psychological stress is such a huge health crisis.

The World Health Organization actually has named it the health epidemic of the 21st century.

So even using, you know, a device that you can wear to track your stress and better handle your own stress could have huge implications.

So, you know, at what date will we see everyone wear that?

I feel like the question mark there is more around, 'What are these kind of applications, like, perhaps social, that are really gonna inspire broad usage?'

That is more unknown and I think will require some really great design and thinking and creativity.

But we're not far away, you know?

Think of, you know, all the people wearing things like Fitbit and tracking their steps and learning more about themselves and adjusting their behavior accordingly.

Well, what would happen if we can track what's going on in our minds.

[ Techno music playing ]