Brainwise is a hat that reads the users brainwaves and projects their brain activity on top of their head. We call it a thinking cap.
The motivation for our project is the augmentation of human experience
through wearable physiological technology. We wish to bring something
private, namely our thoughts and emotions, and broadcast them to the
world. Future applications for this kind of technology can be in
self-monitoring of stress and other physiological signs, but also in
communication. Especially as much of our daily communication is moving
away from face-to-face contact, we need new ways of expressing and
transmitting our emotions to our peers.
This prototype has two capacitive custom-made EEG sensors for reading the
users brainwaves. It includes also three RGB LEDs, which are connected to
light fibre to cover the top of the hat with colors. Arduino Lilypad is
used to analyze the EEG signal and drive the LEDs. Alpha brain wave
activity is analyzed, they are brain waves between 8 and 13 Hz. Alpha
activity is interpreted as relaxation. Alpha power is also considered to
be inversely related to active cognitive processing. Because of this we
use it as a measure of relaxation and activation, visualized on a scale
from blue to red.
According to some experiments, frontal EEG asymmetry is a sign of negative
emotion, or distress. We measure this by comparing the Alpha power from
the two sides and adding green to the visualization if there is a
difference between the sides.
We have some plans for a second version, so stay tuned!
This project was made by Metti Nordin and Valtteri Wikström for the
Wearable Electronics course at Aalto Media Factory in the fall of 2011.