BCI headphones. Credit: Neurable
by Sarah Katz
The neurotechnology company Neurable has revealed plans for brain-computer interface (BCI) headphones, similar to previous products designed to learn from human movement and predict intent.
This idea began with the product lead Dr. Ramses Alcaide. Inspired by his uncle’s successful engineering of his own prosthetic legs following a horrific automobile accident, Alcaide realized the usefulness of technology that could assist users with physical mobility.
During his time as a neuroscience Ph.D. student working with differently abled individuals, Alcaide took note of the discrepancy between the abilities of prosthetics versus brain reading technology. Ultimately, his observations influenced his decision to focus on developing technology capable of directly interacting with the human brain in real-time.
Now, Neurable has announced the official pre-order of Enten, their first pair of headphones capable of BCI. These headphones work off the knowledge that most humans have only two to three hours of high daily productivity. The device helps users manage time by suggesting breaktime periods in order to maximize focus throughout the day. Perhaps most importantly, the headphones utilize active controls to automatically silence notifications while you are busy and passive controls to minimize distractions.
These headphones make use of more than a decade of neuroscience research starting from Alcaide’s Ph.D. studies. In fact, he touts this device as the first set of headphones built from scratch for the purpose of daily practical use. For ease of use, Enten’s BCI sensors are made from cloth, making them easier to move on and off the wearer’s head, unlike generic EEG sensors found in a lab.
Indeed, these BCI headphones will incorporate the same features as regular headphones currently in use for regular audio purposes. At the same time, these new headphones also provide the user insight into how their brain functions. Neurable aims for Enten to be the neurotechnology device that proves the most feasible and relevant to user activities, where similar devices have fallen short in the past.
Alcaide indicates that he and his team are truly prioritizing the human user with this product rather than simply innovating for the sake of innovation. Overall, Neurable seeks to use BCI and similar technology to help people all over the world with solving real-life issues. By doing so, the team plans to develop devices that can actually support users with these problems on an automated basis, thereby allowing people to go about their days without thinking too much and losing time toward productivity.