Computational creativity and the future of AI

Muse lets users monitor their brain waves on mobile devices


October 22, 2012

The Muse headband

The Muse headband

Image Gallery (3 images)

Want to know what your brain is up to? Soon, it may be as simple as slipping on a wireless headband, then accessing an app. That’s the idea behind Muse, a wearable device developed by Toronto-based tech company InteraXon. Essentially a lightweight portable EEG (electroencephalography) machine, it lets users monitor their neural activity in real time via their mobile device.

First of all, why would anyone want to keep tabs on the electrical activity of their brain? According to the folks at InteraXon, it should help users to relax, concentrate, build confidence, or otherwise take control of their mental state. By being able to see their brain waves represented visually on their smartphone or tablet’s screen, users can then more easily train themselves to achieve and/or maintain a desired state of mind.

Down the road, it is also hoped that Muse could be used to control functions on smartphones, gaming consoles, computers, household appliances or other electronic devices.

Muse is a prototype wearable device, that lets users monitor their brain waves on their mo...

The headband itself has four integrated sensors – two that make contact with the forehead, and one behind each ear. Those sensors pick up electrical output from the brain. That data is wirelessly transmitted to the user’s mobile device, where custom algorithms within a dedicated app process it into an onscreen display.

The app would also include various mental exercises, which the user would be guided through in real time while wearing the headband.

InteraXon is currently raising funds on Indiegogo, for the first production run of the product. A pledge of US$135 will get you a Muse, when and if the funding goal is reached and production is complete.

More information is available in the pitch video below.

Source: Indiegogo

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth

Thanks Ben and Gizmag for your coverage of InteraXon's Muse Indiegogo campaign! We're really quite excited about the coverage, as well as the initial responses we've been receiving. Any questions can be fielded via the comments section of the project, and we can also be followed via the following links below.

--Dani, on behalf of the InteraXon team.

Dani Cullimore
23rd October, 2012 @ 08:36 am PDT

Thank you to the Gizmag readers who have contacted us so far. Our campaign on Indiegogo can be found here:

-- Dani, on behalf of the InteraXon team.

Dani Cullimore
23rd October, 2012 @ 10:32 am PDT



Cuzin Elmer
23rd October, 2012 @ 02:45 pm PDT

Is there a research paper that substantiates the method or techs of using some signals from 4 points on the skin of our heads, the paper that's been published in a respectable scientific journal and positively noticed by authorities in the relevant fields?

Making a data acquisition system using $1 sensors, programmable instrument, PC interface (even wireless), and a SW like LabView to get a chart on screen is a day project for college student.

So what?

Even if they have built portable EEG device, how exactly can I use it to control my emotional state, for example?

Mike Akulov
23rd October, 2012 @ 09:33 pm PDT

Mike, I take exception to criticism that is not based on intimate knowledge of the field in question. The article clearly indicates that the heart of the system is the custom algorithms and app that were written by the team, probably over many thousands of man-hours, to filter and process the very minimal data available from an surfacel interface and make it usable and displayable. That challenge is neither trivial, nor is it a "day project for a college student".

Most of the information based on electroencephalographic sensing at the skin level on the skull is hopelessly buried in electrical noise. In fact the signal-to-noise ratio is so low as to be almost unusable in most circumstances. Trying to retrieve anything useful from that type of interface (as opposed to invasive implantation of electrodes) is a massive task that has rarely been achieved even at the university research level. That these folks have done so is a huge tribute to them, and--it would appear--a bona fide breakthrough that will undoubtedly lead to a multitude of future applications that were only hinted at in the video.

24th October, 2012 @ 04:39 am PDT

Seems like a BIS monitor used a depth of anesthesia monitor. BIS (4channel) consists of four electrodes placed on the forehead x3 and temple x1.

Not wireless. Connects to the vitals signs monitor displaying a number which "translates" into depth of anesthesia. BIS is designed to prevent intraoperative awareness during surgery.

James Tad Geiger
27th October, 2012 @ 08:19 am PDT

As long as it is clear it is for entertainment purposes only you are getting what you pay for.

Anyone who knows anything about EEG machines and reading brainwave electrical activity will clearly see this product for what it is, a toy. Seriously all you can do with four sensors is see a general level from the brain.

The great thing about it is that it gets ordinary people actually thinking a bit and may stimulate some much needed funding so that a device sensitive enough to be able to differentiate between small groups of neurons can be invented (wearable not truck size).

How else can you find those pesky neurons that start cascade events that cause problems. You cant spend days in an fMRI waiting for something to happen.

18th March, 2013 @ 06:27 pm PDT
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