IMEC's EEG monitor prototype is wearable and integrated into a headband where it consumes 0.8 milliwatts. Potential applications are detection of imbalance between the two halves of the brain, detection of certain kinds of brain trauma and monitoring of brain activity. The system uses IMECís proprietary biopotential readout ASIC to extract EEG signals. A DSP block encodes the extracted EEG data which is sent to a PC via a 2.4-GHz wireless radio link.
The thermoelectric generator is mounted on the forehead and converts the heat flow between the skin and air into electrical power. The generator is composed of 10 thermoelectric units interconnected in a flexible way. At room temperature, the generated power is about 2 to 2.5-mW or 0.03-mW per square centimeter, which is the theoretical limit of power generation from the human skin. Higher power generation would cause an uncomfortable sense of cold.
Future hardware research targets further reduction of the power consumption in the radio and processor. A semiconductor process for manufacturing thermopiles is under development. Companies interested in licensing the technologies are being encouraged to join the Human++ industrial affiliation program.
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