Most wearables we take a look at here at wearable.co.uk track things relating to your body. That makes sense, since physical movements are relatively simple to quantify with technology like gyroscopes and accelerometers. But what about something a little less tangible, like your brain. That’s where technology like MindWave comes in, which purportedly can keep an eye on the electrical activity in your brain and therefore tell when you’re relaxed, stressed and even help you to meditate.
The brain wave is an economical headset that measures brainwave signals and attention levels, in order to help people learn new skills like meditation. It’s also a tool for ensuring concentration during learning and comes with a robust software package that’s designed to help you use the tool to its fullest.
Touted somewhat like a proof of concept, the MindWave comes with included software like a SpeedMaths game, which challenges you to concentrate throughout extensive mathematical challenges, and BlinkZone, which allows you to set off fireorks by blinking. It’s not exactly, a game, but a way to demonstrate the blink detection technology built into the headset.
Other games like MindNumber and Schulte, encourage you to focus your attention on the task at hand, remembering ever more complicated series of numbers to held you advance your learning potential. MindHunter takes things in a more game-like direction, having you take aim at different animals with your concentration. When you’ve focused your energies, blinking will fire off a shot.
These are just the freely included apps however. There’s plenty more in the official store for you to expand your knowledge, concentration and meditative skills with.
The Mindwave itself costs just $80, which works out at just under £50. However if you want to make it compatible with your mobile phone, you’ll need to shell out for the MyndPlay Mobile Bundle, which costs a further $130 £78).
The main drawback I see with the MindWave, its that its usefulness is very limited. Sure it might track your concentration, in a somewhat arbitrary fashion judging by user experiences, but once you’ve learned to concentrate in a game, beyond that I’m not sure what you can do with it. It seems like it might be waiting for that killer application to put it over the top.
While I’d love to have a play with the MindWave to see what it can do, I don’t think it’s a product I’d be interested in buying. It seems like something that might be great if you went to a meditation class and were learning to focus, but just at home, it seems like it would have very limited applications.