Communicate with your brain

ALS patients (and other 'locked-in' patients) will soon be able to communicate with caregivers and loved ones. To this end, patients are given a headset that measures electrical brain activity. If patients focus their attention on specially designed images, such as a keyboard that was developed for this purpose, the interface can match their brain signals with the images, so that patients can communicate, by spelling by letter, for instance.

CEO Ivo de la Rive Box of MindAffect says: "This method is fast and reliable, and you do not have to practice it. It opens up new dimensions of interaction. At the annual Dutch music festival Lowlands, hundreds of people joined in writing a story with this interface."

Home use

MindAffect also focuses on developing interfaces that people can use at home. They hope to start testing later this year. De la Rive Box: "Our aim is to develop a product that can be used in the user's own home environment. The user receives a headset and the interface becomes an iPad application, which makes communication possible. Subsequently, we will also introduce flashing LED lights that can be connected to home automation systems. That way, a module could be placed next to a door so that when the user views the corresponding icon, the door opens.

Interested in MindAffect and their research? They partner up with Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour.