Ever wanted to visualize your brain activity in real-time? Move an object on a screen with your mind? This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make an illumino: a recreational EEG hat with an Arduino, that turns your brainwaves into light. It will also guide you in how to use the hat to create beautiful visual/audio graphical interfaces on your computer screen (Processing).
I wanted my own simple toy EEG device to play with: one that flexibly allowed me to use the data, while being comfortable, stylish, and indiscernible to everyone else. The solution to this was to combine Neurosky’s ThinkGear™ ASIC Module and an Arduino. To make it artistically creative and interactive, I added RGB LEDs hidden inside a white pompom, allowing the wearer to visualize their brainwaves in real-time as an array of colorful light. All electronics are discretely hidden, so it looks and feels as though you’re just wearing a comfy beanie. Colors and brightness of the LEDs are manually selectable/adjustable with the small button switch. The Arduino software is accessible via a USB slot. The hat also works fine simply as an EEG device, if you just want to connect it to a computer without a light show.
Here’s a video of the testing of the hat (I hadn’t put the LEDs into a pompom or secured the battery onto the hat yet, hence the hanging wires). Turn on the subtitles, they explain what you are seeing!
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