Biohacking : All Day EEG Recording Tools

The good folks at Interaxon responsible for the Muse headband have teamed up with Smith Optics to create a beautiful EEG which you can wear all day long. The earlier version of the Muse Headband could be used in the same manner, but it is pretty obvious that you have strapped a bunch of sensors to your head and will draw a lot of attention when used in public. The LowDown Focus Brain Sensing Eyewear is a winner in terms of elegant design, weight, battery life and extensibility.

These glasses come with a lot of classes. Perhaps Interaxon decided that the previous app was not training people in the art of  meditation sufficiently. Whatever the reason these glasses require taking 3 courses with nearly a dozen step-by-step meditations in each one before letting you adjust all the settings. The Smith Focus app is loaded with tips and explanations for getting the most out of your brief meditations. However, for those of us who are interested in understanding more about our mental states through out the day there is another option.

Interaxon has recently released the MuseDirect App for iOS only. It is designed to work with all these Muse EEG products and does a great job of saving EEG data (locally, streamed or copied). MuseDirect was designed for researchers, artists, developers and health professionals. It is by far the easiest user interface and plug and play setup that I’ve experience with EEG. In the above graph (saved from a MuseDirect screenshot) you can see the blue alpha waves dominate during a brief meditation. MuseDirect allows for recording sessions of any duration and downloading of EEG data in FIF (MNE), CSV, EDF or JSON formats.

The real power of the Muse tools is the ability to record very specific attributes of the EEG experience. Using MuseDirect on the iPhone to stream data to any machine running MuseLab (Win|Lin|OSX) provides a way for multiple people in different locations to view realtime brainwave data.

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  1. I was really excited when I saw the muse headband … I was going to order it straight ahead but then I found their SDK does not work under Linux and the licence agreement is not much permissive (you can basically only test it and play with it but not use it for anything real)

  2. Muse was released in 2014 and still has not provided a Linux SDK. However, they have been good about making command line tools, OSC streaming and even supporting raspberry pi in their toolchain. It is a bummer to not see the SDK available and specific tools only coming out for certain platforms.

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