intro’d to Ariel via this ted (tedxtoronto 2011):
Know thyself, with a brain scanner
the problem with escaping day to day life, is it ends.
it’s almost like we’re a tourist visiting ourselves.. (when we retreat et al)
can we find ways to know ourselves without the escape
thought controlled computing
i learned that you could create your own world
Renaissance Woman: Wearable computing maven
Looking ahead, the company is planning to develop apps that allow users to paint or compose music, or play video games. Even broader applications could include being able to remotely control household electronics, transportation, and even cooking appliances.
The next trend that allows brain-computer interface to be something that is common is a smartphone in everybody’s pockets. We now have sufficient processing power on a phone to receive data from a headset and allow you to take it into the world in some meaningful way.
What are some of the applications that get you excited about this technology?
Across the board, to me the most interesting thing is being able to give people an insight into their own mental process. Our minds are things to which we have limited access points. Certainly, we have brains to which we have very limited access points. This is something that allows you to access your mental process and your brain in an entirely new way that then gives you new information about how you exist in the world and, therefore, allows you to optimize your experience of being in the world.
What is an example of that?
The first tool we are building, which is called Muse, helps you calm and settle the mind. It helps reduce ruminative thinking, anxiety. It helps you learn to gain control over a mental process that allows you to not let your mind run away from you.
and – what if it helps your mind run away.. wander.. ie: facilitates whimsy
It lets you stay focused on what you are doing until you start to realize that you can gain control over your own thought process and to optimize your experience of being in the world, attending to what you want.
What are some other applications?
Another great application relates to kids’ ADD [attention-deficit disorder]. It is a drug-free alternative to ADD medications.
What is the potential here when it comes to neuromarketing?
I know that brands are very excited about the potential for neuromarketing. I hate neuromarketing. I vehemently am opposed to it, and I think it is in violation of human privacy. At this point, neuromarketing actually does not work.
Now that you have low-cost headsets, it is a magnificent field day for artists to be able to express aspects of our inner selves in new ways and to be able to visualize parts of ourselves that previously were hidden. The EEG brain waves are funny things. They are not tangible, and they are an expression of ourselves. It is hard to know exactly what it is expressing. Energy comes off us, and if you can visualize or personify or otherwise create experiences that allow people to touch these inner parts of themselves, you lead to pretty phenomenal transformations. It is an amazing and powerful art.
How do you think this headset sector will grow?
I think it is going to grow dramatically. Right now, you probably have 200,000 headsets. It is a small number. We are going to see the volume of future adoption grow many, many times over the next three to five years when we start to have purposeful applications, when we have headsets that are sexy, when we have ways for people to engage in it that actually fit into their lives. Of course, that will mean there is a larger addressable market, more people that have headsets and more people that already are educated about the technology.
7 billion people.. 3 min a day.. ness
That will encourage developers to build better applications and then encourage large companies to enter the space. I can tell you, from our own relationships, there are a number of very large players who are entering and monitoring this space knowing that it is the next place to which they are going.
A BEAUTIFUL MIND: CAN ARIEL GARTEN’S BRAIN WAVE INTERFACE IMPROVE YOUR OUTLOOK ON LIFE?
“I was always exploring relationships between art and science,” she says. During her stint as a fashion designer, Garten was double-majoring in psychology and biology at the University of Toronto, where she also began working with professor Steve Mann. A pioneer of wearable computers, Mann created digital eyewear to augment vision in the early 1980s. (“He basically developed Glass before Google,” Garten says.) Mann had also engineered a primitive brain-computer interface at MIT in the 1990s. Garten and some classmates decided to resurrect it to explore thought-controlled computing.
InteraXon then set to work developing, in essence, a Fitbit for the brain—a wearable biofeedback device that measures neural activity, much like an activity tracker records steps and calories burned. “I think we’re all very curious about our own minds,” says Garten, “but we just may not have the tools to channel that.”
Muse is intended for daily use with an app called Calm, which features a three-minute exercise designed to help people manage stress.
Psychologists at Harvard University have shown that people spend 47 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than whatever it is they’re trying to focus on. Neuroscientists call this tendency toward mental drift the “default mode network.” With neurofeedback, Garten believes people can build their cognitive strength. “If you’re having a crappy day, it can help you gain control of your mind,” she says. “Like, ‘I’m not calm now, but I know what to do to get there.’ ”
and/or – to listen better.. and get out of situations we don’t really need/want to be in .. ie: jobs, school, no?
Because InteraXon emphasized comfort when designing Muse, the device could be a valuable tool for scientists conducting such research. …With McMaster University in Ontario, InteraXon is examining how Muse can improve cognitive function, and an education lab at New York University is measuring the effect of Muse on learning.
InteraXon’s Muse is among the first wearable computers that read brain waves, much like a heart-rate monitor detects a pulse. CEO Ariel Garten says it can train users to achieve greater focus anytime, anywhere.
from their site:
We develop engaging experiences using brain-sensing technology that free us from physical, emotional and mental obstacles so we get more out of every moment.
Enable people to live happier, healthier and more connected lives with leading brain-sensing technologies and experiences.
Become a valuable part of people’s daily lives to allow new degrees of freedom, connectivity and happiness never imagined.
interesting – ad reads: for 3 min a day..
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Ariel Garten (born September 24, 1979, Toronto) is a Canadian artist, scientist and intellectual. She was an avant garde clothing designer with a store called Flavour Hall (now closed) in Toronto, Canada. She is deemed to have made a “significant contribution to the field” for her work in integrating art and science. She is pursuing cutting edge art and performances in other media, including dance, music, percussion, and cutting-edge instruments (such as hydraulophone, quintephone, and other). She creates work that explores the intersection of art and neuroscience.