Were you ever curious about how much neural activity happens in your brain? Some time in the near future, you wouldn’t have to go to a hospital and do some tests to get the answer. KDDI, one of Japan’s premier telecommunications companies, has its R&D lab developing a portable biofeedback system that measures brain waves. It only has two hardware components: a special headset and an Android smartphone.
This is how it works. The headset (actually more of a headband) has several small sensors that can directly detect neural signals from your brain. Part of the device is a clip that attaches to one of your ear lobes and measures your pulse. You put on the contraption, pull up the associated app on your Android phone, and play three different 30-second games.
As you go through the games, the sensors pick up your neural activity and then the data is wirelessly transmitted to the smartphone and analyzed by the Android app. At the end of each activity, you’re presented with a graph that describes the state of your brain while you were playing.
The two factors measured in the graph are level of concentration or focused-state and level of meditation or relaxed-state. A diagram is also shown which maps out which parts of your brain were active during the game.
KDDI publicly demonstrated this technology at this year’s International Modern Hospital Show. The apparent thrust is towards neural technology applications in medicine. You’ve probably seen the various medical calculator smartphone apps available online but this technology surely makes a much farther leap.