Muse looks into your brain
Pedometers and heart rate monitors were yesterday. InteraXon Muse measures and analyses brain activity. The electroencephalographer helps with meditation, but he has pitfalls.
So far, Quantified Self stops where the head begins. Pulse, number of steps, mileage and altitude, calories burned – all these are measured and calculated more or less precisely with wristbands, watches and smartphone apps. Now it’s the turn to measure the brain, thanks to Muse.
Muse by Crowdfunding
Almost exactly two years ago, the Canadian company Interaxon had started to successfully collect money to produce the device on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.
Use your mind
So make more of his mind. At least that’s what InteraXon promises. Muse should help people to concentrate better. Those who manage to do this can learn better, achieve more, have better ideas and sharpened senses, are more determined, more successful and less stressed. It sounds a bit like Scientology, but everything is written on the packaging.
First of all, it is a wearable brain sensing headband. Hence, pedometers and heart rate monitors were yesterday. Muse measures and analyses brain activity. Altogether, the brain sensing band is supposed to help with meditation.
Heart rate, number of steps, kilometres travelled and altitude metres, calories consumed – all these measured and calculated more or less precisely by people today with wristbands, watches and smartphone apps. Now it’s the turn to measure the brain, thanks to InteraXon Muse.
First of all, Muse may be more comfortable to wear than a classic EEG bathing cap with sensors and cables, as you might know, it from hospitals. A plastic strip with clearly visible sensors lies across the forehead. Behind the ears are more sensors and the rest of the electronics in a cheap-looking plastic housing. But it’s not as convenient as the makers promise. Because the seven sensor fields must have good contact with the forehead, the area behind the ears, i.e. they must fit very closely. It might take several attempts, especially at the first times, until a sufficiently clear signal arrives at the muse. The app shows whether a sensor receives a signal or not.
The device must then calibrate before each exercise. The app asks you to think for a few seconds about as many books, desserts, fictitious characters as possible and so on. In this way, Muse recognises how the brain “looks” when it is active.
Then the actual breathing exercise begins. This corresponds to simple meditation and lasts three, seven or twelve minutes. Each exhalation gets counted (always to ten and then from the front) while thinking of nothing else.
The sound of the sea splashing and the sound of the wind can be heard – preferably through headphones. If my thoughts wander off, Muse registers this and warns: “The wind is getting louder and more threatening. If I remain concentrated and calm over a more extended period, he hears seagulls landing nearby. In the end, there are points. The more focused I am, the more points I get.
Muse and Electroencephalograph
Furthermore, InteraXon Muse is an electroencephalograph, moreover a device recording one’s brain waves. It looks like a mixture of headphones and headband, costs 300 US dollars and shows how professional medical technology for diagnostic purposes, such as sleep medicine, is becoming a gadget thanks to increasingly cheaper sensors.
Without a doubt, InteraXon’s headband may be more comfortable to wear than a classic EEG (electroencephalography) bathing cap with sensors and cables, as you might know, it from hospitals. A plastic strip with clearly visible sensors lies across the forehead, behind the ears, other sensors and the rest of the electronics in a cheap-looking plastic housing. Don’t get it wrong – it is as it should be.
Finally, InteraXon Muse helps you to meditate quickly, in a gamification model and efficiently and to develop a positive meditation practice every day with only a few minutes. The Muse is the world’s first tool that gives you constant real-time feedback on your brain activity while meditating, offering exciting challenges and rewards to take advantage of your successes over time.
Link to Apple Airpods Gen 2