What is a brain computer interface, and who decides the definition of this term? Many leading researchers in the field have posed this question. With the variety of consumer brainwave enabled games, apps, and plug-n-play devices released in 2012, it’s more important than ever that we keep this question at the forefront of our research and work. This week: epidermal electronics have been called the ‘tattoo of the new generation’ for their BCI capabilities; the GT3D is an affordable brain machine interface with a heartwarming backstory; Mobie founder Marco Marchesi announces Neu, a software algorithm that gives users the ability to control 3D animated content with a brain computer interface.
1// A New Generation of BCI Tattoos
We’ve written about temporary BCI tattoos a few times on this blog; such as Todd Coleman’s research grant from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for adhesive BCI’s used in remote regions of the world.
A new partnership between scientists in Singapore, China and the United States has produced a T3 (temporary transfer tattoo) that incorporates electrochemical sensors. This T3 is seen as a non-invasive way to help monitor health, body temperature, and warn of security risks. What are the features? An ECG sensor, an EEG sensor, and an EMG sensor, a temperature sensor, a wireless power coils as well as a wireless antenna, a wireless communication oscillator, a photo detector, and more. The T3 is an epidermal electronic. It shows immediate elasticity upon skin contact and works with all skin textures and irregularities to be worn as a ubiquitous temporary adhesive. More interesting work with epidermal electronics also came out of University of Illinois’ labs earlier this year
2// The New GT3D Is A Real-Time Brain Machine Interface
The GT3D, an eye tracking software and eyewear device, was released to the public this week along with a research abstract in The Journal of Neural Engineering. A team at Imperial College London built the device with off-the-shelf materials. From start to finish, it cost less than $60. At an impressive low production margin, its research team has also built in non-invasive brain machine interfacing that works with immersive multimedia technologies we use daily. Designed primarily to allow users to play video games hands-free, the GT3D also lets you browse the Internet and write emails. The device transmits data over a wireless signal to a desktop computer screen.
Eyetracking software has made significant advancements since 2010, when a group of engineers created an open-source interface called Eyewriter. After a well known graffiti artist in the Greater Los Angeles area was diagnosed ALS, his community came together to create an eyewear’able’ that allowed him to draw from a hospital bed.
3// From Mobie To Neu
Since a public reveal at Siggraph Asia in 2011, Marco Marchesi has been demonstrating Mobie around the world. Originally a doctorial project at the University of Bologna, Mobie is a software that lets users create 3D video environments using a brain computer interface. With Marchesi’s original software development, users wearing an EEG headset that records their brainwave sequences while watching movies or playing video games. After uploading user data to Mobie, the software suggests actions through its algorithm. With some practice, users can infact manipulate and control the plot of the movies they are engaging with in Mobie.
This summer, Marchesi published the paper “From Mobie to Neu: 3D Animated Contents Controlled By A Brain Computer Interface”. The paper discusses how Mobie as a prototype and methodology will be integrated into new software called, well, ‘Neu’. Specifically, how cognition and mental capacities can affect virtual objects in human computer interfacing.
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