It won’t be long before wearing a device on your wrist is considered passé.
A San Jose-based company called NeuroSky is building sensors to detect your brain activity, so you can control things with your thoughts. The applications for this kind of technology are endless — and are best known in the gaming community — but the company raised an undisclosed sum today to push into the health and fitness market.
The funding comes from Softbank, a Japanese corporation, in a round that chief executive Stanley Yang describes as “strategic.” Neurosky has raised about $40 million since its inception in 2006.
The company builds the chips and software and strikes partnerships with device manufacturers. It has developed a complex set of algorithms that can track analog electrical brainwaves and turn them into digital measurements. This kind of technology is still nascent, but is referred to by futurists as “thought controlled computing.”
The flagship product, MindWave, is a headset that can log into your computer using just your thoughts. Researchers recently used the EEG headset to develop a toy car that can be driven forward with thought.
NeuroSky’s smart sensors can also track your heart rate and other bodily metrics and can be embedded in the next generation of wearable devices. “We make it possible for millions of consumers to capture and quantify critical health and wellness data,” Yang said.
The company isn’t the only biosensor maker on the market. Yang claims that NeuroSky’s competitive edge is that its chips monitor at the EKG/ECG level and can track both brain and heart activity.
The company does not intend to apply for regulatory approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as it provides the sensor technology, not the devices themselves. By email, Yang said the technology won’t be used at this stage for clinical or diagnostic purposes.