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High-Tech Helmet Lets You Hear Your Own Thoughts, Sort Of

The ‘Experience Helmet’ is a new, high-tech wearable device that allows people to hear electronic representations of their thoughts. It uses Electroencephalography (EEG) technology to translate brain activity into data. This basically means that the helmet can read your thoughts, convert it into sound, and play it back to you!

According to Aiste Noreikaite, who invented the helmet, it is meant to create an “audible reflection of one’s personal experience of the present moment.” Inspired by Buddhist meditation practices, the London-based artist said that she wanted to create a device to enhance self-awareness.

So she started with an ordinary bike helmet, took it apart, and installed an EEG wireless headset and headphones inside. Next, she researched ways to convert the data provided by the headset into sound. After much deliberation, she finally settled on pure electronic signals to represent brainwaves.

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Photo: Aiste Noreikaite

Noreikaite then wrote a programming language that would turn attentiveness levels of the wearer into electronic sounds, which get played back by the headphones. So when the wearer has a clear mind, the sound played back is higher. And if they concentrate on a particular subject, the sound is faster and more rhythmic.

“I programmed sound frequencies a little bit differently in left and right sides so when they are heard together, they produce a third frequency that can be heard just inside of our heads,” Noreikaite explained. This ghost frequency vibrates at 10 Hz, which is similar to the brainwaves that occur during meditation.

experience-helmet

Photo: Aiste Noreikaite

“It’s not like all of a sudden it’s an orchestral piece, or a piano piece,” she said. “It’s all quite minimal and electronic. When your brainwaves hear the sounds controlled by them, they’re balanced by it, it’s balancing. The brainwaves recognize themselves in that sound and react to it very positively, then this is looped back to them via sound again and again.” This, she says, will lure the mind into a peaceful, meditative state.

The Experience Helmet is a great concept, but it’s effectiveness is yet to be tested. In the meantime, Noreikaite is working on taking the helmet to the next level – translating human emotions into sound.

Sources: Wired, The Creators Project

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