Brain computer interface: Current Consumer BCI devices


By Sharon Niv, Ph.D.

Since EEG is relatively inexpensive and simple to administer, several EEG BCI consumer devices have been developed and released to the market. Although some of these devices are intended for gaming, several of the commercially available headsets also support applications aimed at refining brain function.

Commercially available BCI headsets vary in number of electrodes available for measurement, from 1 electrode for headsets utilizing Neurosky sensor technology, to 14 in the Emotiv Epoc headset. The more electrodes in a headset, the more sophisticated its potential functions. For example, 1-electrode sets such as Mindwave or Myndplay Brainband (both utilizing Neurosky chip technology) can monitor two states: strong concentration and deep relaxation. Using this technology, a device such as Mindflex operates a ball game with beta waves. An application like Brainbot, used with Mindwave, can enhance meditative states based on states of deep relaxation. Interaxon’s Muse has four channels of EEG data, and allows for directionality and frontal asymmetry measurement. The Emotive Epoc, with its 14 electrodes, can monitor far more complex brain states, both in terms of emotional complexity and ability to produce finely tuned outputs for games or machine control.

Although currently, the majority of users for these devices are interested in video games and other fun applications, there is immense potential for using BCI headsets to optimize brain activity. Learn more about available EEG BCI headsets and applications in the Brain section of our Intellimedstore. 


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