In the previous part of the article, we wrote about how to use the EEG headset to receive and digitize brain signals to realize the idea of a neurocomputer interface. In this article, we will talk about where these interfaces can be applied now and how they will affect our nearest future.
Healthy sleep, meditation, health control are fields of use products such as Muse and Muse 2, as well as headphones like Kokoon, are primarily aimed at.
EEG allows obtaining the data about relaxation, concentration, activity, and general condition of the brain. Applications for smartphones or PCs usually process the received data, control the playback of music, and provide recommendations.
For example, an application for Kokoon adjusts the volume, tempo of replay, and frequency characteristics of the audio track being played. Thereby EEG ensures immersion and stay in a state close to a lucid dream, which contributes to the deep relaxation.
Muse 2, on the other hand, is initially positioned as a device for meditation and health and is completed with the Meditation Studio program. The device stores the history of your meditations, helps to track and improve your performance from meditation to meditation.
Those who are far from meditations and prefer Brain Fitness, should choose NeuroSky neuro headsets, which can connect to mobile devices and allow using more than 300 developed programs and games to train concentration and attention. A good overview of one of these programs, Home of Attention, can be viewed in the video below.
EEG headset can be used to monitor user reactions to software, for example, during UX testing (usability testing). While analyzing the data from the EEG headset, we can check how the user reacts to one or another part of the program. Which tasks he considers as tricky, and which not.
Also, BCI headsets can be used to detect loss of concentration and fatigue level control among responsible professions employees: lifeguards, air traffic controllers, cosmonauts, automated vehicle operators, operators of emergency services, and so on. As an example, the scandalous story of a Chinese factory that used to control employee emotions to increase efficiency.
The further development of the brain-computer idea is to enable the brain and the computer not only to send signals but also to receive them. In 2018, a group of scientists from the University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon University showed a bidirectional interaction method that is based on EEG brain signals recording and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). The system uses two types of modules: the brain-computer interface based on the EEG and the computer-brain interface based on TMS.
It was possible to conduct full-fledged communication between three people without any physical actions in the current version of BrainNet, using the “brain-brain” interface under laboratory conditions.
When motor cortex stimulating, TMS causes a peripheral muscle contraction. Motor responses caused by TMS (Motor Evoked Potentials) can be registered with electromyographic sensors (EMG sensors), but Brain Net uses a slightly different principle.
In the experiments, the subjects played a game like Tetris and had to decide whether to rotate the block. The “sender” was supposed to signal its decision, triggering a visual image that was recorded by the EEG headset. In this case, the “receiver” received a signal from TMS. For the one who received this signal, it was perceived as a phosphene – a flash of light. The same occurs when you press on the eye and then release it.
You can read detailed information about what Brain Net did and what they finally got here.
For now, this system is very far from practically applicable. This is due both to potential risks when using TMS and hardware limitations.
Neurointerface can also be used in games. For example, to obtain information about the status of the player or, more interestingly, to control the gaming environment both online and in the real world.
We will give a couple of examples from the NeuroSky developments because this company has the most quantity of developed applications.
A multiplayer online game with a neural interface, in which you are offered to use "the power of your mind" to fight with other players. The neurocomputer interface essentially tracks the level of “concentration”, which is used in this game as the notion of “power”.
This helicopter can be controlled with the power of concentration and meditation gained from NCI. The toy is presented as not only entertainment, but also a useful simulator for brain-fitness.
Puzzlebox also launches several applications that can be used as a control system for other devices.
If you have ideas of applications that can be developed with the use of a brain-computer interface, we at Evergreen will be happy to create them with you. Especially interesting looks the use of data, collected from emotions when combined with machine learning and neural networks. Together they will allow creating a revolutionary and effective product for your business. Want the one like this? Feel free to contact us.