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InteraXon's tech spec sheet for Muse is available here for viewing. This link is a PDF file, and will automatically open in a new browser window.
What is Muse?
Muse is a flexible 4-sensor brainwave headband for everyday use. It's specially designed to work with a family of applications with exercises for brain health, fitness training, stress management, studying and many more.
Muse allows you to get the most out of the mental skills you already have, and to do more with your mind then you ever thought possible.
What does a brainwave-sensing headband do?
Our brainwave-sensing headband provides a real-time measurement of your brainwave activity.
By connecting Muse to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth, you are able to see this activity in real time using one of our custom applications. You're accessing technology used by doctors and specialists for years, right in the comfort of your home.
What makes your brainwave-sensing headband different?
Muse was designed with you in mind. It's lightweight, ergonomic for wearer comfort, and easy-to-use. 4 non-evasive EEG sensors are built into the loop of the headband, providing detailed measurements of specific brain signals and frequencies. Our 4 sensor design gives higher accuracy and reliability than single-channel systems.
InteraXon started making our own products close to a decade ago in labs. When our colleagues' introduced brainwave headsets to the market in 2009, we made our applications compatible with their innovations, impressed with this leap forward in the technology. But InteraXon wanted to produce some specific tools that current headsets were not able to provide. Our own headband offers 4 sensors for more data, separate channels for increased reliability, sleek and comfortable high-end design, and a custom application package.
InteraXon has worked with leaders in neurology, computer engineering, prosthetics, wearable computing, and brainwave technology. We continue to maintain strong partnerships with the Government of Canada, the MaRS Discovery District, and independent businesses around the world. InteraXon has worked with research labs at the University of Toronto, the Krembil Neuroscience Institute, University of California San Deigo, the Rotman Brain Institute, and more.
How does a brainwave sensor work?
Muse detects the electrical frequencies generated from neuron's firing in your brain, using 4 electroencephalography (EEG) sensors. EEG technology has been used by the medical community as far back as the1920s. However, recent advances in sensor technology now make it possible to offer EEG in an easy-to-use and mobile form.
EEG is used to track the electrical activity along the surface of the skull, to detect spontaneous activity by the neurons of the brain. Your brainwaves are a reflection of those neuron's oscillating. Using recent advances in EEG sensor technology, Muse provides a real-time reading of this electrical activity, and more.
For more useful definitions, here's InteraXon's guide to Brainwaves 101
What types of brainwaves does Muse measure?
Muse measures brain activities and frequencies that vary depending on your state of mind.
There are five main brainwave bands that Muse detects at any given time. Each brainwave band occurs in different proportions, and Muse measures the changes in those proportions when something happens.
The five bands are:
- Delta waves which are most present during sleep.
- Theta waves which are associated with sleep, very deep relaxation, and visualization.
- Alpha waves which occur when relaxed and calm.
- Beta waves which occur when, for example, actively thinking or problem-solving.
- Gamma waves which occur when involved in higher mental activity and consolidation of information.
For a more scientific description of our technology,click here
Can a brainwave sensor read my mind?
Absolutely not. This technology measures mental states such as calmness or attention by digitizing brainwave signals. It cannot read thoughts. A brainwave sensor is a non-invasive device.
How do I know this isn't a mind control device?
Think of it as an inside-out relationship. Brainwaves travel from the brain to the headband but it isn't possible for the headband to channel any inputs into the brain.
Taking your pulse might tell you how fast your heart is beating, but cannot control your heart rate. Just like a heart rate monitor might tell you how active your body is, but not whether you were jogging or riding a bike. Our headband and app only work when you control and command them with the power of your mind. We can tell you how active your brain is, but not if you're thinking about the colour blue.
What do you do with the brainwave data? Can other people access this data?
All your brainwave data is securely stored, and is not publicly accessible. We follow a strict ethical policy about customer data and care so passionately about the subject we have established an international organisation to create unparalleled standards for data management and privacy.
Why should I care about seeing my brainwave activity?
Effective brain functioning requires flexibility and stability. People constantly tell us they can't turn off their minds and this can have a tremendous impact on a person's well-being.
Enhancing brain flexibility allows you to shift brain activity to match what you are doing, like concentrating at work. You need higher beta wave activity to do this. Whereas when you want to calm down after work, you need more alpha activity.
Having a more resilient or stable brain allows you to bounce back from unhealthy activities and experiences like lack of sleep, drinking, injury etc.
Seeing your brainwave activity allows you to train, condition and enhance your mind.
What kind of applications do you have?
Our first application is a brain trainer--part of an integrated brain health system--with more slated for future releases.
Our applications are designed to learn and grow with you, using custom algorithms built by our in-house team of experts.
We will be making our SDK available to the development community through IndieGoGo so developers can explore and create additional approved applications. For more information on the availability of our SDK's, click here
What applications are included in Muse's Brain Trainer?
Everyone knows a healthy body needs time to rest, repair and renew through a healthy diet and proper sleep. A healthy body also needs some level of activity and exercise. The minds needs a balance of both too. So that's what we've designed.
It is virtually impossible to function at your intellectual best if you are dealing with specific emotions. We recognized how the emotional and intellectual are interconnected, which is why we've designed an integrated system to build powerful healthy brain habits.
Our exercises are based on scientifically-proven techniques and practices shown to reduce anxiety and stress, focus the mind, and foster responsive vs. reactive responses. These practices improve mental clarity, focus and awareness, strengthen memory, and improve your EQ.
Why is this brain training system better than others?
Most brain training focuses on the intellectual side: memory, concentration and attention using timed games and exercises to improve your brain's performance. Our brain training system integrates the intellectual and emotional for maximum effect.
Other brain training apps score you at the end, but often with no personalized options or suggestions to improve your score for next time. A scoring system is like getting the number of calories burned or average heart rate at the end of an exercise. With more detailed monitors, you can see your heart rate throughout an exercise and adjust your level of activity (e.g. focus on burning more calories or fat, or improving your cardio). Muse provides that kind of information for your brain.
Why should I care about brain health, and in particular, my emotional health?
The World Health Organization definition of health: "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
Our brains produce thousands of thoughts per day. According to psychologists at Harvard University, people spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they're doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.
A positive mood state can be beneficial to improving a broader focus of attention and generate more ideas in problem-solving tasks. The cognitive processes are broadened and it builds long-term coping resources which lead to better resilience.
In addition, people in this mood state evaluate themselves and others more positively, make more lenient attributions, and behave in a more confident, optimistic and generous way in interpersonal situations
In a 2007 Harvard School of Health study of over 6000 men and women aged 25 to 74 for 20 years, they found that emotional vitality - a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life's stresses with emotional balance - appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
How's that for good reasons?
Is the headset adjustable?
Yes. Muse is an adjustable headband designed to fit nearly every wearer. It was ergonomically designed for comfort. Just like a pair of glasses it sits around the back of both the left and right ears.
When you place the band across the top of your forehead, it's important to make sure there is no hair between the headset and your skin. Take extra care to ensure there is no hair between the loops resting behind your ears, and your skin. This helps to transmit a strong signal.
What is the retail cost?
Muse costs $199.99 USD. This price is a bundle package price.
What is included in the box?
Muse, the brainwave-sensing headband, and the brain training application will be included in the first box. Access to the Software Development Kit (SDK) is available for those who are interested in developing their own applications.
Where will I be able to buy this?
Muse will be commercially available online and at select retailers in the United States and Canada in 2013.
What countries will you ship to?
Currently, we only ship within North America (the United States and Canada). If you'd like to sign up for a notification on when Muse becomes available in your country, click here.
I don't have a headset, but want to try your app; is there a trial version?
Currently, InteraXon doesn't offer a trial version of our Brain Training app. A trial version can't deliver the full benefit or value of our product. Likewise, an app only works with our Muse brainwave-sensing headband. It is not compatible with NeuroSky or Emotiv hardware. Giving away a trial version without the hardware wouldn't deliver the full brainwave-sensing experience.
Is an SDK available?
Backers of our IndieGoGo campaign who choose a developer pledge will receive the brainwave analytics and visualization tools that our team uses to develop applications. These will be delivered mid-2013. If you missed our IndieGoGo campaign but would still like an SDK, more details will be available to the developer community after December 2012. In the meantime, InteraXon will be informing the public of future commercial availability, as well as stand-alone SDK release dates, through our Muse e-newsletter here.
What can your SDK do?
Our SDK will allow access to raw brainwave data you collect for iOS, Android, OSX, Linux, and Windows. What you do with that is limitless.