Biofeedback is gaining a lot of momentum recently with the Jawbone Up and Fitbit flex activity monitors now reaching market. The next frontier is the mind and a couple of companies are preparing mainstream devices for release this year. The Zeo Sleep manager has been around for a couple of years. A few months back we seen the MUSE Brain-Sensing Headband successfully reach it’s funding goal on Indigogo. Today Melon started their own Kickstarter campaign to fund release of their own brain sensing headband.
Melon is aimed at Quantified Self allowing a user to track their concentration during different activities and provide feedback for improvement and move towards insights and understanding. The companion app is designed to enable users to monitor their concentration through a variety of activities, whether that means tracking them at work or during yoga or whatever. There are also a game through which they can work on achieving longer periods of focus.
The headband uses three skin contact sensors to measure the brain waves via electroencephalography (EEG). It does this by monitoring tiny electrical charges let off by neurons firing in the brain. Such signals provide an accurate measure of the users concentration level. Melon then uses a NeuroSky chip to filter these signals correctly and Bluetooth to send the information to a iOS or Android device.
Melon was created by Arye Barnehama, Laura Michelle Berman and lead electrical engineer Janus Ternullo. The team has raised a small round of funding to get it through the prototype stage, but is now turning to Kickstarter to help fund production and get units shipped.
Melon Needs your help:
“We currently have working prototypes of the headband and have begun manufacturing small-scale batches. We’re also finalizing the design to make sure it meets the manufacturing and testing standards for a commercial product. The funding from this Kickstarter campaign will allow us to set up the tooling and order the components to complete our first large scale run of the Melon headband and launch the Melon app.
Your funds will help us:
Order the electronic components for our first production run.
Move from rapid prototyping to designing and producing the tooling for molded parts.
Finish development of the mobile application (iOS and Android) and SDK
Package and ship the Melon to your doorstep!”
You can support Melon today via their Kickstarter Campaign. They have a modest goal of reaching $100,000 in pledges towards a full production run. Several pledge options are available: Get a device for $99, or a custom anodized aluminium headband for $159 to lunch with the founders.
Kickstarter backers will get a headband, access to the Melon mobile app and for developers an SDK package will be made available. Using the app users can record the activity they are doing as a way to track their focus levels over time. It also provides a way to track environment, feelings, and other details which might effect your concentration. During the activity, the app will store trends about how different behaviors affect your focus, and can provide tips and tricks to improve. It also has push notifications to let you know if your focus is slipping. While the team has built its own app, it’s also hoping to court developers to build software and mobile applications that hook into its hardware. It’ll have an SDK available and will allow developers to have access to the focus and raw EEG data, as well as algorithms for different mental states.