We were lucky enough to have Luciana Haill from IVBA (Interactive Brainwave Visual Analyser) come in to work the other day and demonstrate the bluetooth enabled brainwave monitoring hardware and software on offer. To summarise what it is, this device monitors in realtime the frequency and range of brainwaves in the pre-frontal cortex and pumps that data wirelessly to a computer for many uses.
Here’s a video that shows the data it captures being rendered in 3D:
I must admit I was pleasantly suprised. I had no idea of the level of detail this device can get out of three electrodes placed on the forehead. What’s even better is that the device comes in a kit that includes software for Mac that supports general MIDI as well as AppleScripts. The first thing we were shown was a 3D realtime “EEG” showing peaks and troughs in the various bandwidths produced by left and right hemispheres of the brain, alpha, beta, gamma etc. We also saw some demonstrations that used Quartz Composer.
We were also informed there is a Macromedia Director Xtra to grab those inputs and I would say it wouldn’t take very long at all to write something to have Flash 9 communicating with it over sockets.
The kit itself is not too expensive at all, Ã‚Â£1000 GBP, which puts it in the reach of the home experimenter or artist. It includes the sensors, the bluetooth enabled box that does some of the hard work and the software to make sense of it all.
You could use this for a variety of things, including music, art, therapy and understanding other psychological processes such as what happens to the brain during hypnosis. One such example is Brainball, a game played by two people trying to “clear their minds” in order to force a ball toward the other to score a goal.
Check out the website here.