CES 2013: MUSE Lets You Play Mind Games Using Just Your Brain

Las Vegas, NV – Thought-controlled computing firm InteraXon debuted the Muse brain sensing headband at CES 2013. This unique device wraps around your forehead and takes you through brain exercises on a screen, controlled not with a handheld or those cumbersome thumbs, but with the power of your mind.

“It’s a sleek, comfortable, four-sensor headband that allows you to control games, reduce stress, improve memory and concentration, and eventually to control devices directly with your mind,” says the description on the company website.

Using four EEG sensors, Muse measures brain activity like a heart monitor observes heart function. Your brain waves are converted into digital signals that are sent to your tablet, smartphone, or PC via Bluetooth. You can see your brain activity in real-time on the screen, and see whether or not you’re in an “active” or “relaxed” state.

Muse’s Brain Health System strengthens cognitive and emotional parts of your brain, and can help you train your mind to focus on tasks or maintain emotional composure in stressful situations.

InteraXon claims that the Muse brain sensing headband is capable of improving memory, focus, concentration, productivity, motivation, and self-control. It can reduce anxiety and stress, and help regulate negative emotions and thoughts. The real appeal to the Muse brain sensing headband is not that it helps you develop mental strength with familiar exercises, but that it gives you real-time information on your brain waves so that you can adjust and figure out what works best for you as you go.

We played with the Muse brain sensing headband for about 20 minutes, which consisted, for me, of two exercises. In one, I was shown a graphic screen with a moon on the left, and a sun on the right. I was supposed to eclipse the sun with the moon by just thinking about it, and slowly the moon inched closer to the sun until I watched a full eclipse take place. Imagine my surprise.

The next exercise showed me a graphic chart detailing my brain activity between “active” and “relaxed.” The point of this exercise was to relax my mind, and I was able to do so using audio cues through a set of speakers.

All in all, Muse’s brain sensing headband was a neat piece of tech, and certainly the only thing of its kind at CES this year. I began to wonder about practical application of this new tech. The Muse spokeswoman on site explained that the potential for this new technology is limitless, and could be used in the medical or psychological fields, by older folks trying to keep their minds sharp, by special needs students in the classroom, or for pure recreation.

Time will tell what’s to come of Muse and the brain sensing headband, but it’s hard not to root for such a unique and creative piece of tech, even if it doesn’t readily have any practical application just yet.

Check out our gallery of the Muse brain sensing headband and my trial run below: