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The iBrain Can Read Brain Waves

Posted by JenThorpe at 2:35 AM on April 3, 2012

NeuroVigil has created a device called the iBrain. It is a single-channel EEG recording tool. It can be used to record the waves of electrical brain signals of whomever is using the device. Once recorded, the SPEARS Algorithm is used to read the data. This provides an insight into a person’s brain activity that is not readily available through other types of technology.

The device reads a person’s brain waves, but, that doesn’t mean it can read someone’s mind, or record his or her actual thoughts. The iBrain was designed to be used while a person is sleeping, but it cannot make a copy of your dreams. Technology is not quite there, yet.

The original purpose of the device is to be used for at-home sleep monitoring. Instead of sending someone to a sleep lab to have testing done, the person can have it done from the comfort of his or her own bed. I believe this means that the iBrain could be used to determine if a person has sleep apnea, or other types of obstructive breathing disorders.

The iBrain device is a little box of electronics that is fitted inside a flexible and light harness that a person can wear like a combination hat and headband. The harness contains electrodes that can be easily applied to a person’s head while he or she is asleep.

Put it on, go to sleep, and the iBrain will automatically start recording. It can record for hours at a time. The data will be stored on the device, which has its own USB port to make data transfer easy. From there, the person’s doctor can evaluate the data, and use it in his or her diagnostic evaluation.

Right now, the device is used mostly for at-home sleep monitoring. However, the iBrain will function just as well if the person is awake and watching television, or doing other activities. Researchers could use the iBrain to assess if experimental neurological drugs, that are being used as part of a clinical trial, are working. There is the potential that the device can be used to monitor the brain waves of people who have autism, in the hopes of learning more about the disorder.

There is one thing about the iBrain that has me puzzled. Whenever I see a product name that begins with a small letter i, followed by a capital letter, I automatically assume that it is a device that was made by Apple. Yet, as far as I can tell, Apple is not involved with NeuroVigil.

Image: The Brain by BigStock

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