Danish group develops EEG Smartphone app (w/ video)

September 19, 2011 by Bob Yirka report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Sometimes with Smartphone apps the line between seriousness and gimmick is difficult to discern. Take for example the Smartphone Brain Scanner developed by Jakob Eg Larsen and his colleagues at the Technical University of Denmark. It’s a hardware/software gadget that allows anyone with a Nokia N900 Smartphone and associated hardware, to run an electroencephalography (EEG) scan of their brain in the comfort of their home. The hardware consists of a head harness with probes for applying to the scalp. It sends wireless signals to the N900 which then displays a virtual image of the brain based on electrical activity.

But the question remains, is it a truly useful application or a gimmick? It appears the group means for it to be a useful medical tool, similar to home heart or blood pressure monitors. For those with epilepsy or other such medical maladies, having such a home monitor would mean not having to travel to a medical facility on a periodic basis. It’s also likely the home device would offer more true results as the anxiety of a lab visit and test would be eliminated. And while there is an option that comes with the system that allows for sending data to a server that does a more serious crunching of the data, it’s not likely the device is as sensitive or accurate as the much more expensive machines typically used in a medical facility. Thus, it’s not clear whether medical professionals would accept the results of such a device as useful.

Also there is the fact that some might see the device as a sort of party game. It’s not difficult to imagine college kids sitting around drinking hooking one another up to the device and laughing as they watch their cells dying in real time, right before their eyes.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

Having said all that, there are other issues as well, for example, in the video the group has made of their gadget, there is no sign of either the goo that normally goes along with such devices to cause the probes to adhere to the scalp, nor is there apparently any instructions pointing out where exactly on the scalp the probes are supposed to go. And the group shot at the end, with a table full of men with the harness and probes all connected comes across as just a little freaky. Thus, once again, the question arises, is this a serious application or a gimmick?

Explore further: Seizures in newborns can be detected with small, portable brain activity monitors

More information: milab.imm.dtu.dk/eeg

Related Stories

Nokia N900 now available in US

November 18, 2009

Nokia today announced that the highly anticipated Nokia N900 is now on sale in the United States and shipping to consumers who jumped on the opportunity to be among the first to pre-order the Maemo-powered mobile computer. ...

Car makers testing driver wake-up from sensors in headrest

August 19, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Car manufacturers are looking at a technology that sets off an alarm for drivers if they are falling asleep at the wheel. Sensors embedded in the driver’s headrest would read the brain’s electrical ...

Recommended for you

For these 'cyborgs', keys are so yesterday

September 4, 2015

Punching in security codes to deactivate the alarm at his store became a thing of the past for Jowan Oesterlund when he implanted a chip into his hand about 18 months ago.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jvanderh
3 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2011
Alcohol doesn't kill brain cells, and an EEG couldn't measure it if it did.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.