In our overly-connected world, solitude comes scarce and minds constantly race. Actively shutting down your thoughts through meditation is seldom a common practice. It seems every time you try to take a breather, another task, deadline, event or other obligation creeps up and you're back to the grind. Muse, a headband equipped with electroencephalongraphy (EEG) sensors that read brain activity, encourages you to embrace peace of mind by tracking meditation sessions.
Muse's complementary app, Muse Calm, works with the headband to train users to take their brains from an active state to a resting state. The app guides you through preparing the headband, so that sensors all align properly on your forehead, and starting a session. You first get instructed to list random items in your mind, such as book titles and types of fruit. This is to get a picture of what your brain acts like when it is thinking. Then, you are instructed to quiet your thoughts by focusing on counting your breaths. Throughout the sessions's duration, lasting anywhere from three to twenty minutes, you will hear oceanside sounds such as waves and wind that indicate how calm you are. The louder the noise, the more you need to focus. You'll come to realize how difficult it is to relax.
Here's an example of an early session—as you can see, there was a lot of work to do. Fortunately, the more you continue focusing, the easier the practice becomes. The most valuable thing you can take away is a habit of meditation. Just three minutes set aside to be completely still each day will leave you feeling refreshed and less stressed.
(Source: Kristina Rodulfo)(Source: Kristina Rodulfo)
If this all sounds sci-fi to you, the technology isn't actually new. EEG sensors have been used by doctors and in labs to diagnose conditions such as dementia and Alzheimers, assess major brain injuries and treat epilepsy and Parkinson's. What is unique is that this is the first time a wireless version of the technology has become a recreational product for consumers. Think of it as the next wearable tech device helping you get the most out of your day, like a Fitbit or Fuelband.
At $299, the Muse headband does not come cheap. It's worth getting on your radar and wishlists, however, considering the exciting projects its company, InteraXon, has down the pipeline. One includes a beer tap that can pour you a glass by measuring your level of focus. We can see Muse going even further, helping control music, video games and more completely hands-free.
Get your Muse headband here.