On the consumer product side of things, you don’t really hear a lot about devices that interface with the human brain. Yes, there are a multitude of medical devices for neurologists, doctors, brain surgeons, and other medical professionals. But generally we don’t get a lot in terms of psycho-physiological electronics.
NeuroSky is one company that comes to mind. They offer a number of devices for games and tasks that involve thinking and concentration. In most cases these devices are intended to improve both thinking and concentration. Maybe that’s why we don’t hear too much about these device types because they might involve thinking and concentration. Most consumers demand devices that will think for them, thereby minimizing any thinking or concentration requirements.
Just recently, PLX Devices introduced XWave Sport, billed as “a fashionable brain computer interface headband designed for everyday wear.” Basically, the product consists of a highly-sensitive and, hopefully, accurate sensor/controller. The controller fits in a head band, a.k.a., sweatband, and detects brainwaves through a soft conductive fabric resting over the wearer’s left eyebrow. These signals pass to the controller where they are measured and translated into useful mental data.
XWave Sport is a fashionable brain computer interface headband
Not having actually tried the product and assuming it works as per the company’s details, one’s relaxation, focus, and other mental states and parameters can be measured and sent to a mobile device and/or PC. A wide range of apps are available that include games, brain training, and mental health. There’s that thinking and concentration aspect that I rather fancy.
The XWave Sport headband, with the embedded brainwave controller module completely hidden inside, employs conductive fabric and is said to be comfortable. Washable and sweat absorbing, it maintains a reliable connection in demanding physical activities like mountain biking, running, etc., and other high vibration activities. Headbands are available in multiple color options.
Measuring 1.5” x 1” x 0.47”, the controller includes a lithium battery capable of operating up to six hours on a single charge. An AC adapter is included that charges the XWave Sport in 30 minutes. It also includes an integrated Bluetooth module for mating with iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad, Android, and PC apps. Of note, the patent pending ear-clip ground uses magnetic clips to make contact on the top of the ear for better signal performance and aesthetic appeal.
The XWave Sport controller includes a lithium battery that provides up to six hours of runtime between charges.
To use XWave Logger PC software requires Windows XP or later operating systems. Available for download, XWave Logger allows viewing, recording, playback, and exporting attention and meditation data and the amplitudes of 8 EEG band data, viewable on a 2D graph with respect to time and on a 3D graph where three parameters can be plotted against each other. Each recorded session can be exported in Excel and CSV formats.
XWave Sport Specs
For developers and other creative individuals, software development kits are available for Apple iOS, Android, and PC platforms. You can learn a bit more about this and the company’s other products from their website and support forum. Also, if you wish to contact them directly call PLX Devices Inc., Sunnyvale, CA at 408-745-7591 or fax at 408-745-7502. Unfortunately there appears to be no way contact them via mental telepathy just yet, but I’m sure they are working on it.
XWave SDKs Available