MUSE, the Brain Sensing Headband
This is a Bluetooth headset, but not the kind you are used to hearing about. Muse is the first lab-grade Electroencephalography (EEG) device for home use. A few years ago, such equipment cost many thousands of dollars, was invasive, and its use was always supervised by medical personnel. That is no longer the case!
Worn comfortably across the forehead and behind the ears, its censor array streams up to 6 channels of realtime brain wave data to your iOS device. This headband works in conjunction with Muse, an app which trains beginning meditators, reviewed here:
InteraXon, the manufacturer, have also released an open source SDK for anybody with the coding skills and imagination to think up new uses for their brain wave data:
At least 75 hospitals, colleges and other institutions are using this hardware in their research, studying various patient populations.
The first version of the headband had five hours of battery life and two charging ports. It connected like other Bluetooth devices, in Settings > Bluetooth.
The newer and current Muse headband has one charging port and ten hours of battery life. Also, it no longer connects to your iOS device in Settings. Instead, you now connect through the Muse app itself.
Devices Accessory Was Used With
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I just bought this after reading this review; I shall download the ap tonight. I've always tried to meditate but my mind is too active.
Hi there! Looking at your profile, I swee you are in Australia. Is Muse available from anybody in Australia yet? I sure hope the shipping didn't kill you!
I should have mentioned in my review that Muse is available in Best Buy stores in Canada and the US, along with Bloomingdales and a few other retail outlets, along with online.
RDFreak, initially, you'll go through a simple account creation process. Then, I believe six screens that describe the process. You'll get a bunch of spoken instructions as well, which you can turn off after a few sessions, once you understand the process. It's pretty simple. InteraXon put a lot of work into making this as simple as possible.
Get in touch if you have any issues or need something explained. Other than that, double-tap on everything you encounter, just to make sure it doesn't pop open additional settings or information.
The main app screen contains buttons to display the current challenge, start a session, adjust session length (from 3 to 20 minutes, or a custom setting up to 60 minutes), turning the spoken instructions on or off, etc. It also contains three tabs at the bottom. the "Me" tab displays all your stats to date, milestones, completed challenges, a listing of all your sessions etc. The middle tab is the main session screen. The right-most tab is Settings, and displays app and hardware firmware version info, links to help and support etc. etc.
One more thing. It took me ages to realize that eye blinking and flexing the muscles of my forehead were messing things up. Basically, the noise generated by these muscle movements are much louder than the brain signals Muse is reading. (those brain signals are measured in microvolts). If you're like me and aren't really consciously aware of blinking, you'll want to become more aware of this. You want to sit with your eyes gently closed, and try not to twitch or flex things. It's not as tricky as that makes it sound. You'll notice your scores go up just by learning to sit still like this and keep your face/forehead relaxed.
Thanks so much for your comments. -- yes, the shipping was a bit steep but, that's why I work so I can have these luxuries I guess. Lol
My eyes are always moving without my control so not sure how it will cope now you mention it but I can try closing them, as you say and see if that's acceptable for it.
You should be fine. IN my case, I was just not aware how often I was blinking or flinching but once I became more aware of it, I learned to just close my eyes and relax more.
The Blind Bargains podcast teased a group that is using the Muse as a low-cost mind-activation tool. For instance, to turn off the light by thinking about it. I couldn't find that, but Muse has a blog post about how <a href="http://www.choosemuse.com/blog/3-hack-tacular-muse-modifications/">people are using it for other purposes</a>.
I'll tell you one thing. If the guy that made that song were to put out an accessible app, I'd have no choice but to get a headband myself. The music he made was, considering that he made it with just his brain, is spectacular.
More news coming soon involving Muse and people with limited mobility controlling their computers.
The newer and current Muse headband has dropped the second charging port and an increased battery life of ten hours. Also, it no longer connects to your iOS device in Settings. Instead, you now connect through the Muse app itself.