Muse: Brainwave Sensing Headband


Muse is a headband with four sensors that pick up the electrical outputs generated by the wearer’s brain activity. Muse connects to smart phones and tablets using bluetooth, and can provide wearers with real time feedback on their current mental state, i.e. whether they are calm or stressed, focused or distracted. Muse has the potential to become a human-computer interface that can allow the wearer to control computer applications and games. InteraXon, the makers of Muse, also imagine a future in which real world appliances will be able to directly respond to a user’s thoughts via Muse, for instance the television could turn off once it senses that the user has fallen asleep. There are certainly Universal Design applications for this kind of technology, assuming that people won’t mind wearing a headband across their foreheads all day. Then again, the design is pretty simple, sleek and unobtrusive. Would you use Muse? What would you want to control with your mind?

Universal Design (UD) is an approach to design that increases the potential for developing a better quality of life for a wide range of individuals. It is a design process that enables and empowers a diverse population by improving human performance, health and wellness, and social participation (Steinfeld and Maisel, 2012). It creates products, systems, and environments to be as usable as possible by as many people as possible regardless of age, ability or situation.