Ariel Garten, CEO of InteraXon, recently gave a keynote speech at LeWeb 2012 where she demoed the Muse headband with EmoType, a demo application for the new brain-computer interface device. EmoType is a text editor that changes the font style in real time depending on your brainwaves, hence it lets you integrate your message into an extra level of emotional context, without using dozens of exclamation marks or emoticons.Two years ago, at LeWeb 2010, Ariel introduced the whole idea of thought-controlled computer technology. In 2011 her presentation she explained what BCI can do for you. This year Ariel finally presented InteraXon’s own product, the Muse brain-computer interface headband that has almost doubled it’s original $150.000 fundraising goal on Indiegogo – this is what we call a real progress!
According to Ariel, the technology they are creating at InterXon “allows customized response to the user’s cognitive and emotional needs in real time”. “It offers like a window into your brain’s activity, allowing actually to see and track your brain activity, and allowing you to reflect on your brain’s activity”, said Ariel about the Muse headband.
This means that you can use Muse to improve your memory and brain performance, and it also means that through Muse you can control various applications with your mind. However these features where not the highlights of the keynote.
The particular feature that Ariel showcased onstage was the possibility of adding personal human context to your online actions and communications with Muse. Ariel demoed EmoType, a demo application developed for Muse that changes font types according to your mood. Although the email composed during the demo (watch the video below) looked like a beginner computer user’s first-time experience with Word, the creative idea behind the app will – no doubt – open new ways of communication, and how we’ll get beyond the countless exclamation marks and smiley faces in emails.
With EmoType, when the Muse user is typing an email, the app can change the look of the text depending on the user’s brain-state. When you are focused, the text becomes clean and tight, and when you are relaxed and open-minded – based on your higher alpha-wave state -, your message’s look will become more artistic and flowery. Also, when you are smiling, this will make the letters suddenly very big.
Watch Ariel Garten’s keynote and EmoType demo at LeWeb 2012
Of course Muse is much more than just a new kind of text editor. EmoType is a basic demo only but in the future Muse and other future BCIs could be used to add additional emotional information to location based services, or to your avatar in a game. It is already possible to make your in game character’s skills more effective when you are ‘in the zone’. To read about more ideas check out our earlier post about NeuroSky’s creative ideas for game designers on how to implement neurofeedback into the gameplay. InteraXon is also working together with the Canadian Olympics Team on a professional athletics application for Muse.
Muse is already available on Indiegogo and will be shipped in Spring 2013 along with multiple applications. An SDK is available for developers who want make applications for Muse.