Following the first brain-controlled Android game UpCake, app developer Personal Neuro Devices has launched Transcend, giving user real feedback about the quality and duration of their meditation sessions using actual neurofeedback. This new smartphone app aims to ease stress and guide users through meditation by monitoring brain waves that change as people become more relaxed.
Today, Personal Neuro Devices is a neuroscience company focused on brain-computer interface technologies. Through the collaboration of a team of neuroscientists, software developers, gamification experts, biomedical device researchers and graphic artists, it has applied advances in neuro-imaging and psychology to create new brain-computer interface programs and technologies.
Transcend allows users to track their meditation practices by reporting the quality and duration of their meditation sessions, as well as other helpful metrics. Using these metrics, Transcend can tell when a user is achieving meditative states or whether a user may benefit from an alternative form of meditation. By measuring and recording meditative states, a user can track his or her progress and receive confirmation that their meditation has been effective.
"This is the first mobile meditation app that gives constructive feedback based on actual neuro-imaging," said Tony Gaitatzis, CTO and co-founder at Personal Neuro Devices.
Unlike other meditation apps available today, Transcend measures neural activity the different ways that people meditate as it includes meditation guides for users new to the practice, or more experienced users looking to try a new style. Transcend's ability to provide personalized feedback and suggest improvements for more effective meditation can benefit users of any experience level.
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"Transcend incorporates proprietary brain-activity-analysis algorithms and is based on research studies with individuals who are new to the practice of mediation as well as experienced users,” explained Gaitatzis.
Data from each meditation session is gathered using NeuroSky's MindWave Mobile headset, which uses Bluetooth to transmit real-time electrical impulses via strategically placed electrodes, allowing users to monitor their progress as they melt into a more personal meditation.
When using Transcend, the user picks the duration of time for the meditation and can opt to listen to a guided audio meditation. A candle graphic in the app grows brighter as the quality of the practice increases, which is determined by brainwaves that indicate relaxation and concentration. A graph in the app also shows the quality of meditation in real time throughout the session."You get to literally look at what's happening in the mind while you're doing the practice," explained Chad Veinotte, a director at Personal Neuro Devices.
CEO of NeuroSky Stanley Yang is pleased to collaborate with Personal Neuro Devices to bring Transcend to market. “Transcend will significantly extend and enhance the usefulness and benefits of the MindWave Mobile headset to many new users,” said Yang.
According to Veinotte, the headsets will become popular just as sensor-based fitness apps that track distance and speed have. He thinks we can expect to see headsets shrink and get more compact and easier to use. “We're going to see an explosion in the types of applications available and the way in which people start paying attention to their minds.”
Currently, Transcend is available for Android only ($4.99 in Google Play), but an iOS version will likely soon be available.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo