The emergence of consumer electroencephalography (EEG) devices is giving us new ways to monitor and train our brains. One such device is the Melomind, which promises to help users better manage stress. To do so, it delivers 15-minute sessions of specially designed music.
The Melomind was on display at this week's Wearable Technology Show in London, along with the similar Muse headband from InterAxon. Whereas the Muse headband aims to improve the focus of users, however, the Melomind simply seeks to help them relax.
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The device itself comprises a wearable headset that connects to an accompanying app for Android and iOS via Bluetooth. The headset contains sensors that detect the electrical activity of the user's brain, from which the user's state of mind can be deduced. To get going, users don the headset, plug a pair of headphones into their mobile device and load the app.
MyBrain Technologies, the company behind Melomind, says sessions can be as short as three minutes, but that 15-minute sessions are ideal. For each session, users select an audio environment from a catalog of different options and are then guided through a relaxation process. The audio environment reacts to the user's state of mind, becoming calmer the more relaxed they are.
This use of neurofeedback is said to help the brain learn how to evoke certain states, in this case relaxation, more readily. MyBrain says that with repeated use, the sessions can train the brain like a muscle to better manage stress in the long-term. Once each session is complete, the app visualizes the users performance throughout the session itself and in the context of their historical performance.
Melomind is available to preorder on its website now for US$299, instead of what MyBrain says will be an eventual $399. It is expected to be available by the end of 2015.
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