Sunday, July 14, 2013

Popular BCI Technologies

ThinkGear AM
This is the application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) module which runs in BCI tools by NeuroSky Inc. It is capable of recognizing brain signals through a dry electrode and then to convert them to 'intents'. It also filters background noises coming from other organs and outside devices. This chipset has been used in number of assistive tools, toys and applications. MindWave, MindSet and Necomimi are most popular by NeuroSky.


This is both an educational and entertainment suite made by NueroSky which can track brain wave patterns and showcase levels of attention with regard to different activities. It is not capable of sending and 'commands' from brain to any device. It only reads mind waves and interpret based on the activity. I am quoting a video of MindWave demo. It would be wise to ignore the promotional aspects and focus on the technology.

MindSet is an advanced version of MindWave where the user has the accessibility to more entertainment options like audio interactions with a PC. The user also can accomplish certain activities like moving virtual objects, shooting objects only by concentrating on the objects.

This product is in fact developed by a different company based on ThinkGear AM chipset. It features a pair of cat ears which responds to 3 specific status of mind. Focused: Ears perk up, In the Zone: Ears wiggle up and down, Relaxed: Ears drop down. Although this is used more in the fashion industry, the idea behind it can be used to assist differently-abled people in controlling devices and even for activities as driving cars as shown in the video to the left.

EPOC is another popular BCI headset developed by Emotive. It uses 16 electrodes to capture brain signals. Unique 'signature' is assigend to well known commands like 'pull', 'push' and 'disappear' after a particular user is trained on such commands. Then they can use this commands to manipulate objects in applications like games.

Emotiv's EPOC BCI Headset

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