Review of Nokia Portable Brain Scanner
Have you ever thought that you could monitor the neural signals of your brain and that too without going to the hospital? Now you can do that. All you need is a Nokia smartphone and an EEG headset (commercially available one). For the first time an EEG headset is powered by a phone. The EEG headset monitors all the electrical activity that takes place in the brain. Normally it would be a wirelessly headset connected to a USB receiver that has been plugged into a personal computer.
You have to wear the EEG headset and then start up an app developed by researchers for this very purpose. The app will then create what is a simplified 3-D model of your brain. This model will light up whenever a brainwave signal is detected by the headset. You can rotate the model by swinging the screen. You can also connect this app to a remote server where more intensive number crunching can be done. After which the results will be displayed on the smartphone.
The researchers feel that this combination of smartphone and EEG headset will give the researchers an opportunity to study a person’s brain signal in a natural environment. It can be their home or workplace. That is people don’t have to come to a hospital to get an EEG reading taken. This simplifies the work of the researchers. The smartphones other features can be of use to researchers. They can conduct different experiments including showing pictures or videos that are known to bring specific responses in the brain. The researchers can also use the smartphone to monitor the brain signals of a group of people while they are working together to perform a particular task.
This system might be able to help people suffering from different medical conditions including addiction, ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and epilepsy. It can help them by reducing the number of times they have to visit the hospital. This model has been successfully implemented in the case of heart monitoring at home.
The researcher’s vision is to make EEG reading possible in every home. They feel it better than coming to the hospital to undergo one hour of EEG reading and then going home.
This enthusiasm is, however, not shared by everyone. There are people who feel that the smartphone can’t do all the things that a dedicated medical device can. They feel that the need for sophisticated stimulation devices along with data-processing devices can’t be replaced by a mere app in a smartphone.