Brain Waves, Swift and You.

I got my Neurosky MindWave™ Mobile a few days ago. It’s a portable EEG device that communicates via Bluetooth. Most importantly, it’s very cheap - $100 at the time of writing.

To be honest, I was afraid it would turn out to be a toy, or a ripoff. I wanted to verify it actually worked. Their “Visualizer” app in the App Store wasn’t helping, as it only displays instant values.

So I made an app. Here’s what showed up after recording for a while:

My EEG trace

In the highlighted time periods, I was relaxing with my eyes closed, thinking of nothing. Otherwise, I was doing mental math, or studying the trace recorded so far.

The trace above matches perfectly: high alpha activity when relaxing, high beta and gamma activity when thinking hard. If you have no idea what I’m on about, you can read up on brain wave patterns on Wikipedia.

The spikes you see are most likely due to muscular activity, which always produces a stronger signal than whatever comes from the brain. I’m thinking of adding a switch to toggle a low-pass filter on the data, which should get rid of those spikes and give a better idea of the overall trends in the different bands.

I’ve run a few other experiments, and I think I can comfortably say that this gizmo really works - so I’m excited to see what else I can do with it.

Anyway, I wrote the app in Swift, so I thought it’d be nice to publish it. I called it “Waves” because I have no imagination. You can get the source code on GitHub.

And you should, because it’s THE F1RST SWIFT MIND READING APP OF ALL TIME.

So, how cool would it be to actually see how your brain is responding to the beats right inside Binaural?

As always, contact me if you have any feedback.