Who said fashion was mindless? The next hot accessory could have mind-altering implications. Melon recently wrapped up a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce the Melon Headband, which uses EEG technology to monitor brain activity and detect concentration. Developers claim the Melon Headband will give users feedback on how to improve their cognitive functions. A corresponding mobile app will deliver data. On the heels of Google Glass, the Melon Headband is the next intelligent accessory.
Critics may question whether Melon can really deliver accurate EEG results, especially at the cheap rate of $99. If the Melon Headband works, though, expect to see hoards of tech-savvy users wearing these black hoops.
How it Works
The headband captures and reads the microvolt signals coming off your brain. With this quantified data, users learn about patterns and trends that affect focus. Maybe you get locked mentally after a morning session of yoga or a bike ride. The device gives you actionable feedback to shape your life and boost productivity. The future of wearable technology is now and this device is paving the way for fashion and technology to collide.
Melon isn’t the only business trying to bring brain-sensing headbands to the masses. Technology developers Interaxon crowdfunded its project, the Muse Headband on Indiegogo.com, raising $287, 472, just $3,000 less than Melon. The Muse Headband also uses EEG technology to monitor brain waves. The Muse mobile app includes exercises and games that provide real-time results and improve user focus. Interaxon is also making the Muse Headband SDK available for iOS, Android, Windows and Linux, meaning fellow app developers can produce apps that use this innovative device. That opens a world of possibilities. With equal funding and an almost identical system, expect the first headband to hit the market to have the edge.
The Google Glass Effect
In a Kickstarter update, Melon released a photo of its co-founder Arye Barnehama wearing the Melon Headband just above Google Glass. It’s tough to imagine that any of these EEG headbands would see the light of the day if it weren’t for Google’s unique accessory. Smartphones basically became an extra appendage, and now developers appear confident that tech accessories will catch on. Soon enough, users will be able to make calls, check email and even install cable television through these headsets. The question is whether we’re really better off with so much information at our disposal instantly.
Innovation or Gimmick?
Most mobile advancements in the last five years have given users more information, faster, with less hassle. That’s led to millions of tweets, pics and posts, but it’s also taken a toll on our focus. EEG Headbands are innovative, but instead of further distracting us, these devices aim to improve our focus and restore our productivity. In the next 10 years, focus will become an increasingly important commodity. Professionals that are able to tune distractions out and knock out the task at hand will thrive. They could be wearing stylish hoops on their heads.
Image by Saad Faruque pursuant to the terms of his Creative Commons license.