Imagine a comfortable and lightweight headset that you put on and that immediately starts to capture your brain signals. No wires and additional electronics, everything is in the headset: a complete, flexible EEG (electro-encephalogram) system.
The recorded brainwaves are processed in the headset, depending on the application. And the results are sent wirelessly to a base station, for example a doctor’s computer, in the case of a clinical application, or a game console for an entertainment application. The headset is easy to set up; there are no lengthy customization procedures. It adapts to the form of your head for the best possible scanning results. Available at your local pharmacy, the EEG headset works for weeks or even months at a time without battery recharges.
Such a headset could eventually replace today’s EEG systems, including the scanners at the hospitals, as well as those used for ambulatory EEG scanning. The latter, used to monitor epileptic patients in their home environment, for example, are still quite bulky. Next to a headset, they require wired connections to a monitoring box the size of a laptop. For patients, it’s the hospital imported in their homes, still far from a comfortable monitor that they can install and forget.
But this future headset would also allow for the design of new applications. Think of drowsiness monitoring in cars and trucks, inexpensive high-quality sleep monitoring at home, biofeedback applications for cognitive therapies (treating anxiety disorders, addictions), or emotion monitoring applications in the workplace. There’s also the whole application field of the brain-computer interface—steering applications through interaction with the mind rather than of the body.
To read more about the design details for this lightweight, flexible EEG headset, click here.
About the authors
Julien Penders is a program manager at Holst Centre/IMEC; Jan Provoost is the science editor at IMEC.