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Open Source Brain-Computer Interface (OSBI)

Accessible brain-computer interface headset

  • Open Source Brain-Computer Interface (OSBI)

  • OSBI headset and its parts. (TPU 3d print)

  • Two assembled headsets with packaging example.

  • User manual to set up the device

  • Prototype development

Was es macht

OSBI is a wearable device that monitors activity in key areas of the human brain. Raw data and intuitive visualisations from OSBI's software can be used in a variety of ways, from health monitoring to use by artists, marketing teams, and experience designers.

Deine Inspiration

There are few things as mysterious and fascinating as the workings of the mind. What makes us tick in our waking and dreaming lives? Without access to expensive tools found almost exclusively in medical settings, few of us will ever know. Speaking with practitioners at Austria's Ars Electronica festival, whose work relies on creatively mapping brain activity, revealed that it was almost impossible to get good quality data from affordable, home-use headsets. A hackathon also revealed potential new use cases which pushed me to come up with a headset that was both cheaper and provided richer data than other models.

So funktioniert es

Imagine the brain is a baseball stadium. Its neurons are the members of the crowd. An EEG would be like a group of microphones placed outside the stadium. You'd be able to hear when the crowd was cheering and try to predict the type of thing they were cheering about. OSBI has 8 censors strategically placed (based on guidance from neuroscientists) to capture activity in maximally-relevant areas of the brain. They do this by tracking changes in electrical signals across different areas of the brain. The device connects via Bluetooth to a computer where the data can be processed. The neural activity detected by the censors is read and interpreted using OSBI's open-source software. These data can also be fed into further visualisation tools such as MATLAB, Grasshopper, or VVVV, via plugins. The output can be used for sleep diagnostics, attention mapping (including p300 tracking), motor imagery.


RESEARCHING PROBLEM Informed by interviews with artists, hackers, and neuroscientists, I mapped the market gaps in brain-computer interface design regarding functionality, look, and comfort, and began developing ideas for how to address those gaps. FIRST IDEATION Exploration of various mounting methods to position censors securely and comfortably onto a diverse variety of head shapes. A neuroscientist hackathon informed the number and best positioning of electrodes. Their recommendations were based on the areas of the brain most useful to record. EARLY PROTOTYPE BUILDING Prototypes of four different concepts were made in order to test the mounting method concept and select the best-performing one, based on how securely the censors could be fastened whilst not compromising on user comfort. MVP CREATION A PCB (from a similar product) was added to the 'winning' prototype from the concept testing stage to evaluate signal quality from the headset censors. I was looking for minimal noise in the signal which would indicate that the censors were not properly secured in place. FINAL PROTOTYPE Improved prototype based on MVP learnings - most notably adjustments to wire guiding and headset strap length.

Warum es anders ist

Compared with similar devices, OSBI is: - Able to monitor activity in a large area of the brain - Run on open source software, improving accessibility by significantly reducing the product cost for the consumer - More ergonomically friendly, having been designed with many possible head shapes in mind - Designed to have a positive look and feel, appearing less intimidating than many other devices which often look medical, clinical, and may evoke a response of apprehension in the user - Designed to minimise headset wearer discomfort, avoiding pulling on hair and skin and avoiding the problem of head overheating under a cap-style design - Devoid of visible cables, giving it a neater look than many comparable devices - Able to hold its shape during brain activity monitoring, unlike many bonnet/cap-style designs - Easy to clean, repair and maintain as the headset can be (dis)assembled by the user and all the parts are replaceable

Pläne für die Zukunft

The software and PCB need development. If I were to win this prize I would use the money to support these development costs. Outside of this, there is ongoing hardware development, taking an iterative approach to improvements based on feedback on the headset prototype.


Showcased Degree Show - University Art and Design, Linz - 2022

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