Emotiv: Breaking new ground, again, with Insight

Emotiv, the bio-informatics company run by CEO Tan Le in San Francisco, California, recently released its newest entry into the brainwave reading headgear market, The Insight.

emotiv insight 2015 image

The Emotiv Insight

After receiving the majority of their funding through a Kickstarter campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tanttle/emotiv-insight-optimize-your-brain-fitness-and-per), they began shipping at the beginning of July 2015 to their backers.

(Mad Progress penned an article about the Emotiv Kickstarter campaign nearly 2 years ago Here, and another way back in 2012 when the Emotiv products were just becoming commercially available Here. )

A Special Device – One of a Kind

Emotiv says this new device is the only one currently on the market offering “5 EEG+2 reference sensors” to provide “higher spatial resolution” and “more in-depth information on your brain activity.”

Lightweight

The Insight is lightweight and user friendly, providing 128 samples per second for each of the 5 channels. It includes 9-axis inertial sensors, including a 3-axis gyroscope for roll, pitch and yaw, a 3-axis accelerometer for vertical lateral, and longitudinal acceleration, and a 3-axis magnetometer for changes in position and orientation.

Bluetooth Compatible

The device is Bluetooth Wireless 4.0LE compatible and works with Android, iOS, Mac, Linux and Windows.

Unlike previous Emotiv headsets, as well as those of competitors, the new “proprietary polymer sensor” system in The Insight does not require any lubrication to provide a clear connection and reception of electrical impulses. Instead, these new sensors absorb moisture from the environment.

Relatively Inexpensive

emotiv insight headset eeg

Picture courtesy of https://masteryourinvention.com/emotivinsight/

Even with all of the advances in the technology and design, The Insight is also the least expensive headset offered by Emotiv, with a price point around $299.00 as compared to their EPOC, a 14EEG +2 sensor 9-axis system, which sells beginning at $399, and the upgraded EPOC +, with Bluetooth and a user-configurability starting at $499 (https://emotiv.com/store/).

Apps Available and More On The Way

In his article on C|NET, Tim Hornyak, in August of 2013, noted that The Insight comes with Android and iOS mobile apps “to track and improve attention and relaxation.” Hornyak notes it can detect commands such as push, pull, levitate and disappear and can also detect facial expressions.

The website Neurogadget also notes that The Insight is “sleeker, faster and smarter than EPOC,” and can measure 8 key brain states, namely attention, focus, engagement, interest, excitement, affinity, relaxation and stress, and the article declared it to be “elegant, light and user-friendly.”

Science Fiction?

Controlling things with our thoughts is a staple of science fiction and fantasy; however, it is now a reality with devices like The Insight.

Medical Uses For EEG

eeg headsets

The Mayo Clinic defines EEG :

“An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain using small, flat metal discs (electrodes) attached to your scalp. Your brain cells communicate via electrical impulses and are active all the time, even when you’re asleep. This activity shows up as wavy lines on an EEG recording.”

The technology for this has been around for nearly a century, according to the website Inc.

EEG has been used to diagnose various illnesses, including epilepsy, sleep disorders Alzheimer’s and other brain-related conditions.

 

It is also used in neruofeedback training, especially in ADHD patients, to aid in concentration and cognition. However, the devices are expensive and too cumbersome for daily home use, which is why companies like Emotiv began to study the technology and develop smaller, more user-friendly versions for everyday use.

Everyday Uses For EEG?

Applications for EEG headsets abound. From enhanced gaming in a virtual environment, to manipulating an electric wheelchair (www.youtube.com/watch?v=0at3NzNRySg ), to focusing your thoughts emotions and feelings, The Insight and other similar devices can be used for fun as well as for life-enhancing purposes.

EEG headgear can improve the lives of those suffering from paralysis, as well as those just looking for a newer, more enhanced gaming experience.

In a video series mentioned in the article, “Mind Control: How a £200 Headset is Redefining Brain-computing Interaction,” in Wired UK, a woman, paralyzed in an accident, is introduced to The EPOC, Emotiv’s first headset.

At first, she seems disengaged and bored, but as the videos progress, so does she until, eventually, she is controlling an online game like an expert and holding her head upright for the first time since her accident. While gaming and other entertainment applications provide fun, it is uses like this that are the most exciting breakthrough with this technology.

Emotiv Insight and Occulus Rift Gaming Applications

While Emotiv is not the only player in the EEG device game, they do seem to be on the cutting edge of the technology. They were the first company to introduce mobile EEG systems at a TED conference in 2010 (http://www.ted.com/talks/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves?language=en), when CEO Tan Le introduced the world to the first wearable EEG device and showed what it could do.

Since then, Emotiv has listened to customer feedback and worked tirelessly to improve their products with each new launch. The Insight is the result of their hard work, and it appears to be the new “gold standard” in interactive headgear.

For videos on how The Insight works as well as other interesting information on Emotiv, check out their YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/emotivstation/videos).

 

Article Written By: Kirsten Maki

Article Sources:

C|NET “Get your Brain in Shape with Emotiv Insight Headset.” Tim Hornyak 16 Aug 2013 www.cnet.com/news/get-your-brain-in-shape-with-emotiv-insight-headset

Emotiv. https://emotiv.com/insight/php

Inc. “Reality Bites.” David H. Freedman 1 Dec 2008. www.inc.com/magazine/20081201/reality-bites.html

Mad Progress: The Internet Magazine. “Everything you Need to Know About the Emotiv EEG Headset.” madprogress.com/the-emotiv-eeg-headset/

The Mayo Clinic. “EEG” www.mayoclinic.org

Neurogadget. “Emotiv Unveils Insight, a Powerful New EEG Headset that Doesn’t Require Saline.” 1 Aug 2013. neurogadget.com/2013/08/01/emotiv-unveils-insight-a-5-channel-wireless-brainwave-headset-that-does-not-require-without-setup-or-saline/8482

Wired UK “Mind Control: How a £200 Headset is Redefining Brain-computing Interaction.”, 23 Nov 2010. Neal Pollock. Www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2010/12/features/mind-control

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I Survived Another Meeting That Should Have Been An Email – Products

It seems that there are a lot of office meetings that should never take place.

Stickers

A quick internet search revealed some stickers that are available for people to buy for their friends and co-workers.

I Survived Another Meeting that should have been an email
Click Here To Buy These “I Survived Another Meeting that should have been an email” – Round StickersClick Here

We imagine plenty more products will soon be available with this popular phrase. Ribbons and stickers aren’t the only things you can can buy with this popular sentiment, but these two seem to be the most popular judging by the popularity of a recent post on Imgur.com.
Millions of views and hundreds of comments appears to have spawned other knock offs of the idea.

Ribbons
i survived another meeting that should have been an email ribbons

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The Rise Of The Cryptocurrencies

Since Bitcoin took the stage over 3 years ago a lot has happened in the crypto currency world.  Over 10 dozen other cryptocurrencies have hit the stage (update: January 2015 – over 40 dozen) and a new world order has begun.

cryptocurrency chart image

A New (money) World Has Begun.

One has to wonder why.  Why has “crytpo” become such a popular thing?

A Natural Response To Government Interference?

Many people are feeling the squeeze from many different directions, and governments around the world seem to be (to many people) the cause of their distress.

The Rise And Fall Of Mt. Gox

With any new market there are sure to be problems, and with money pouring in there were sure to be a few hiccups.

While Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and for the most part Litecoin the second, many others have followed. Why is this happening?

Let’s Take A Look

If I was a banker in charge of the world’s reserve currency I’d be worried about the whole idea of crypto currency.  After all… anonymous transactions, anonymous “money movement”, the UNability to track where wealth is going (no ability to tax), would leave me (as the banker in charge of the world) flying blind.  Wouldn’t it?

What Shall I Do?

My first attempt to nullify the (good) idea of cryptocurrency would be to ostracize my largest competitor (the Mt. Gox cryptocurrency exchange).

I’d get the smartest computer programmers I know into one room and tell them to do whatever it takes to “take down Mt. Gox”.  (all the while knowing it was a losing proposition, but at least it would buy me some time – for what who knows?)

It seems that every day another “crypto” hits the market.  Obviously many of those “in the know” realize that they can make a quick buck, (or a few million quick bucks)… it’s just a matter of creating a new cryptocurrency, getting it listed on a cryptocurrency exchange and letting the market take care of itself.

Whack-A-Mole

My attack on – and subsequent take down of Mt. Gox (if I was a banker concerned about my hegemony) could be considered a big win – and I (and my banker friends) would probably celebrate it for a while, but the end result will still be the same.

We are going to have to get our friends in Washington D.C. to outlaw cryptocurrency of every kind because a new one is popping up nearly every day and our monopoly on money is quickly fading away!

We thought that Gold (and to a lesser extent Silver)  was a problem, but how do we handle the idea of people thinking that “Crypto” is better than “Dollars”?

A Natural Result

Quite a few people “in the know” realize this to be a natural result of the “big squeeze”.

Governments around the world have made too many promises to too many people and are running out of money – no matter how much they “print”.

Countries like the USA seem to have the unlimited power of the printing press, but that soon is coming to an end.  It seems that no matter how much “money” is printed to cover up the bad debts (and bets – remember AIG?) it is never enough.

What Shall I As King Of The World Do?

My control of the kingdom is at stake – what shall I do?  Whatever shall I do?

… to be continued  (from March 2014)

I Was Wrong (for now)

April 10, 2014 Update

This is sure to be a continuing saga..

What’s Going On?

The IRS (the USA taxing authority) has recently issued a memo making a declaration on what Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) are/is.

Crypto Is “Property”

This of course is no surprise to some people.  xxx says that “they had to do it”, otherwise the implications would be vast for a taxing authority in charge of “All U.S. citizens/slaves across the world. (did you know that the USA and only one other country try and tax the income of their citizens even if they aren’t living in the Homeland? – see here)

China Says No

The Chinese see things in a different way and have outlawed the practice of Banks changing “money” into Bitcoin – and vice versa.  This is the reason given for the recent decline in the price of Bitcoin, but people will find a way around this for sure.

Where’s It Gonna End Up?

Everything is speculation and conjecture at this point – but just today there was a story where the cops busted some guys for “selling Bitcoin“.  Crazy stuff.  There’s sure to be more.

to be continued….

 

 

 

 

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Emotiv Update – Kickstarter Campaign A Huge Success

Controlling Things With Your Brain

I wanted to give an Emotiv Update after penning this article way back in December 2012.  There is plenty of new stuff going on.

emotiv insight kickstarter campaign image

Control things with your thoughts – yeah – that’s right… your thoughts.

Check out the details and presentations at Emotiv’s new Kickstarter Campaign.

Down below is one of the videos posted there to get you caught up with what is going on if you don’t already.

The video is from a TED talk given way back in 2010.

You can read all about the exciting new developments on the Kickstarter page.

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Small Niches Like “The Annoying Orange” Rake In The Big Bucks

Folks that peek their head into making money in the business world are often surprised to find just how much money there can be in those tiny niches that most people have never even heard of.

Have you ever heard of “The Annoying Orange”?

annoying orange plush talking toy

This 5 1/2″ Plush Talking Annoying Orange Is a Popular Product on Amazon.com

Most people haven’t.

Here’s the scoop from Wikipedia.

“”The Annoying Orange is an American comedy web series created by former Minnesota film student and MTV production assistant Dane Boedigheimer in 2009. It stars its creator as an anthropomorphic orange who annoys other fruits, vegetables, and various other objects by using insulting, rude, and sometimes crude-humored jokes.””

Lots of merchandising spin offs too, such as the Annoying Orange Plush Toy.  You push a button and it insults you, and generally irritates you with its pre-recorded messages.

One never knows where they will find success.  Sometimes the craziest things (as opposed to the most useful) make the most money.

 

 

 

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Types of Vascular Diseases

Medical science has literally found millions of new diseases and illnesses in the past 50 years. Every day it seems there is a new threat to our well-being and that of our families and loved ones.

image of effects of vascular diseaseWhile cures are found just as often, there are still serious and life-threatening disorders that must be cared for diligently and patiently. Some of the most dangerous threats to our health involve vascular disorders, which have to do with the circulation of the fluids of your body.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease involves the arteries outside of your heart and the cause is fat build-up and cholesterol deposits.

Most adults have heard once or twice from their physician that their cholesterol is high. Cholesterol is caused by poor eating, stress, lack of exercise, and much more. If the blood flow is slowly cut off, it can lead to destruction of the body’s tissue.

Peripheral Artery Disease can cause stroke, heart attack and chest pain. We seldom remember the necessity of good blood circulation and healthy living.

Peripheral Venous Disease

Our veins are essential to us and our health. If they become clogged or damaged, it is not only painful but detrimental to our health.

Peripheral Venous Disease (see Venous thrombosis) happens when the veins become damaged and the flow of blood is stopped. This causes swelling and enlargement of the veins. Blood clots form and the lack of blood to the organs can be fatal overtime.

Blood is meant to flow consistently and once interrupted, danger follows. Varicose veins are very common after Peripheral Venous Disease. They appear purple, swollen, ropy veins under the skin. More women suffer from varicose veins, which are linked to pregnancy, weight, and constant standing for long periods of time.

Aneurysms

Another severe disorder linked to vascular problems is Aneurysm. This abnormal bulge in the wall of the blood vessels can form if they are from the aorta, which is the main blood vessel leaving the heart, cause aneurysms. Buildup of the vessel can be located in multiple locations. The most common is thoracic aortic and that is an area in the chest.

Another common area is the abdominal aortic aneurysm. The lining of the artery wall becomes very thin and if it bursts, this can cause severe life-threatening problems. If a clot of fat and calcium deposit was to form next to the enlarged vessel, it could make the threat of a burst more risk.

Researching some of the essentials to vascular surgeries? There are different types of medical devices and materials used in these surgeries. Teflon felt is one of the most common for doctors in a majority of procedures.

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Tips to Find Quality Affordable Jewelry

Who wouldn’t want to fill their jewelry box with stylish fashion jewelry? And if you had enough money, you would indulge on fashion jewelry and designer jewelry and purchase fine jewelry for every special event.

cheap jewelry image

Amazon carries a fine line of quality jewelry, although they have a lot of cheap stuff too.

Sadly, most of us are not able to purchase expensive jewelry items, though we do have some extra money. However, you can still own a jewelry box full of luxury fashion jewelry and gorgeous jewelry accessories if you are clever enough to shop.

Don’t Buy Junk

Give up on buying cheap jewelry and purchase affordable fine jewelry which is made with quality and value in mind. Here are some tips to help you stay away from the really cheap stuff and get valuable items at a discount.

  • Select the materials very carefully. Jewelry comes in different varieties of designs and styles that incorporate an array of stones, metals and other different materials. When you are searching for quality fine jewelry, the first thing you need to know is what the jewelry item is made of. Titanium, platinum and gold are stylish, valuable and durable. Sterling silver is inexpensive yet is a high-quality material. Gems can be simulated or created, so don’t hesitate to check the gem descriptions very carefully. To make sure you are getting the best price you must know exactly what you are purchasing.
  • Know the difference between clearance, sale and overstocked jewelry. When you are searching for affordable jewelry, it helps a lot to know where to find the best deals. Jewelers tend to keep the jewelry items as a promotion of their stores, styles or brands and may not offer reasonable prices each and every time. Once the promotion has finished, the sale jewelry often return to its normal price. Clearance jewelry is a sort of jewelry that the retailers want to get rid of, and though the reasonable prices are available in this sort of jewelry, choices may be limited. Overstocked jewelry is the leftover from the clearance jewelry which were made as part of limited brand or collection. Overstocked jewelry is much similar to the clearance jewelry, but it is usually combined together in a place to provide a wide range of variety.
  • Be open about the design and style. You can become picky about the design and style and only select specific items if you have sufficient amount of money. On the other hand, when you are looking for quality, affordable jewelry, you need to be open about style. Choose the items that will complement your personality and fit into your wardrobe, but don’t be strict about certain brands or hunt for specific luxury pieces.
  • Stick to dollar per wear rule. Jewelry can be an investment, and following the dollar per wear rule is the best way to measure that investment. According to this rule, a jewelry piece is worth its price if it is worm sufficient times for every wear to equal a dollar. For instance, if you buy a necklace for $50, you need to wear it a minimum of 50 times to get the most out of your money invested.
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I’m Off To Mars, Pass Me My Grow Light

Now here’s a juxtaposition you probably never thought about. What, after all, have grow lights got to do with manned space flight?

Neither Rocket Man or Space Oddity mention propagating edible vegetation, though had there been additional verses then regrets may well have been expressed about this omission as our plucky heroes starved to death.

grow lights on a spaceship travel mission

If you are going on a space flight – don’t forget the food!

Gotta Feed The Crew

Because it is both obvious and simple when you think about it. If you’re going for more than a quick spin around the Earth you need to feed the crew.

And the first deep space mission will undoubtedly be to Mars, principally because it’s the easiest place to get to and not too hostile when you get there (though not the kind of place to raise your kids by all accounts).

A round trip that allows for also staying on Mars for a spot of tourism should take about two years. Even a one way journey with the intent of living out your days in the red dust requires a great deal of food.

If You Are Taking All The Food You Need For A Two Year Trip You’re Gonna Need A BIG Rocket!

Sending the crew off with a flask of decaff and a round of sandwiches isn’t going to cut it. But neither can you load a hamper large enough to feed them all that time, because the weight would be too great to ever get the rocket off the ground in the first place.

LED grow light image

Amazon carries a fine line of LED Grow Lights.

So what’s to be done?

Grow your own, obviously. Plants are very efficient at absorbing carbon dioxide which they convert into organic material (food) and oxygen. It’s a win-win since the astronauts get a supply of food plus a built-in CO2 recycling system. All the plants need is a small amount of nutrients (soil or enriched water), warmth and light.

And there’s your problem.

Plants Are Picky

Plants are surprisingly picky about what kind of light they need. In fact, they only really care for light in the blue and red parts of the spectrum and have little use for all the rest. This however is not how we humans like our light.

People Like White Light – Plants Prefer Red and Blue

We like “white” light which basically covers deep indigo to the darkest red and everything in between. Clearly then, only a small percentage of visible light is any use to a plant. On Earth that’s not a problem since sunlight is sufficiently bright that plants derive enough from this small fraction anyway.

In space no-one can rear a bean.

On a spaceship you need to provide artificial light. Now grow lights have been around for a while, with the state of the art being represented until recently by high intensity discharge (HID) lamps. Like most forms of incandescent light, these emit light in all parts of the spectrum but metal halide and high pressure sodium lamps do at least produce useful amounts of light at blue and red spectral wavelengths respectively.

There are however a number of significant problems with using HID lamps on a spacecraft: heavy and bulky and you need both types (blue and red); need constant replacement bulbs; generate huge amounts of heat; require large amounts of electricity and are noisy and use very high voltages due to the ballasts.

Meanwhile… Back On Earth

Back on Earth, indoor plant growers either put up with or work around these issues, but on a space craft the whole idea is simply never going to get off the ground, metaphorically or literally. There is however an alternative that will fly (enough with the puns).

  • LED grow lights are manufactured to emit light at exactly the wavelengths required for plant photosynthesis. Each unit consists of one or more LED lamps that target a specific part of the spectrum. Taken as a whole, it can be dynamically controlled to vary the balance between blue and red to complement different phases in plant growth.

Benefits Of LED Grow Lights

  • But the great thing about LED grow lighting is that, in short, it’s everything that HIDs are not.

  • LEDs consume very little low voltage electricity
  • Should last for several missions without maintenance or replacement
  • Produce virtually no heat
  • Are lightweight and robust
  • Plants absolutely thrive with them.

It’s lettuce, but not as we know it.

So that, in a nutshell, is why manned deep space exploration was never going to get anywhere until these little gems came on the scene (LED grow lights).

And to think that many folk use them to grow interesting herbal substances. Almost makes you wonder what they’re smoking.

Everything you ever wanted to know about LED grow lights but frankly couldn’t be bothered to ask is to be found right here.

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