Toshiba Develops Headphone Featuring Brain-wave Sensor

Feb 18, 2010
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics
The headphone equipped with a brain-wave sensor
The headphone equipped with a brain-wave sensor
[Click to enlarge image]
The brain-wave sensor manufactured by NeuroSky
The brain-wave sensor manufactured by NeuroSky
[Click to enlarge image]
Brain waves visualized by using the accompanying software
Brain waves visualized by using the accompanying software
[Click to enlarge image]

Toshiba Corp developed a headphone that is equipped with a brain-wave sensor and designed for consumer use.

The company exhibited the headphone at a press conference of the Continua Health Alliance, of which Toshiba is a member, Feb 17, 2010. The company expects the headphone to be used in the field of healthcare as a "device to visualize brain waves," it said.

The headphone has a built-in Bluetooth unit and can be connected to a PC equipped with the Bluetooth dongle that comes with the headphone. By using accompanying software, "Brain-wave Visualizer," measured data can be visualized. Specifically, it shows a diagram of brain waves and meters of a brain-wave level, concentration level and meditation level.

With the software, it is possible to check the user's brain waves in real time and record them while he or she is listening music or watching video as well as to play a game by using brain waves.

As for the headphone's application to healthcare, Toshiba mentioned a system that associates sleep disorders with the change in brain waves.

The brain-wave sensor of the headphone is manufactured by NeuroSky Inc. When the headphone is worn on a head, the sensor contacts with the forehead and measures subtle current changes.

Though the product development is almost finished, it is not clear when the headphone will be commercialized, Toshiba said. The exhibited prototype does not support the standards being promoted by the Continua Health Alliance.