General Questions

What is Muse: the brain sensing headband?

Muse: the brain sensing headband is a brain fitness tool that helps do more with your mind by helping you calm and settle your mind.

Muse is a comfortable, lightweight headband with seven sensors designed to detect and measure your brain activity, just as a heart monitor measures heart rate.

What does a brain sensing headband do?

Muse includes Calm, an app with sessions designed to help you manage stress and calm your mind. Calm provides moment-to-moment feedback and helpful guidance. This allows you to track and improve your brain over time so you can enhance the mental skills you already have and do more with your mind than you ever thought possible.

How does it work?

Muse uses seven sensors to detect and measure your brain activity, just as a heart monitor measures heart rate. This activity is converted into information you can track on your tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth.

Our guided sessions can be used in as little as 3 minutes a day, with audio and visual feedback of your brainís response in real time. This helps you improve your mind each time you use Muse.

Why would I want to calm and settle my mind?

The World Health Organization defines health as: "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

A positive mood state can be beneficial to improving a broader focus of attention and generate more ideas in problem-solving tasks. The cognitive processes are broadened and it builds long-term coping resources which lead to better resilience. In addition, people in this mood state evaluate themselves and others more positively, make more lenient attributions, and behave in a more confident, optimistic and generous way in interpersonal situations.

Our brains produce thousands of thoughts per day. According to psychologists at Harvard University people spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they're doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.

In a 2007 Harvard School of Health study of over 6000 men and women aged 25 to 74 for 20 years, they found that emotional vitality - a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life's stresses with emotional balance - appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

What makes your brain sensing headband different?

Muse is the only brain sensing headband designed with you in mind and for everyday use. The headband is made with flexible materials to adjust to different head shapes and sizes. It includes seven sensors, five on the forehead and two specially designed SmartSense conductive rubber ear sensors, for comfort and good signal quality.

InteraXon started working with brain sensing technology a decade ago in research labs alongside leaders in neurology, computer engineering, prosthetics and wearable computing. We continue to maintain strong partnerships with the Government of Canada, the MaRS Discovery District, and independent businesses around the world. InteraXon has worked with research labs at Baycrest, the University of Toronto, the Krembil Neuroscience Institute, University of California San Diego, the Rotman Brain Institute, and more.

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How does a brain sensor work?

Museís brain sensors detect the spontaneous activity of neurons in your brain. Your brain generates electrical frequencies that are detected using electroencephalography (EEG) sensors along the surface of the skull.

The medical community has used EEG technology as early as the 1920s. However, recent advances in sensor technology now make it possible to offer EEG in an easy-to-use and mobile form.

What types of brainwaves does Muse measure?

Muse measures brain activities and frequencies that vary depending on your state of mind. There are five main brainwave bands Muse detects at any given time. Each brainwave band occurs in different proportions, and Muse measures the changes in those proportions as your mind works. The five bands are:

How do I know this isn't a mind control device?

Taking your pulse might tell you how fast your heart is beating, but cannot change or alter your heart rate. A heart rate monitor might tell you how active your body but canít control your heart, and canít tell you to go jogging.

Muse works in the same way by providing real time feedback on how your brain is performing. It is powered by you and the power of your mind. Brainwaves travel from the brain to Muse. Muse cannot channel any inputs into the brain.

Can this read my mind?

Absolutely not. Muse can only tell the type of brain activity youíre experiencing, not if you're thinking about the color blue.

Why should I care about seeing my brainwave activity?

People constantly tell us they "can't turn off" their minds, and this can have a tremendous impact on a person's well-being. Seeing your brainwave activity allows you to train, condition and enhance your mind moment-to-moment and for the long term. Enhancing brain flexibility allows you to shift brain activity to match what you are doing, like concentrating at work or de-stressing before you go home. Having a more resilient or stable brain allows you to bounce back from unhealthy activities and experiences such as lack of sleep, excessive stress and injury.

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What kind of applications do you have?

Our applications are designed to learn and grow with you, using custom algorithms built by our in-house team of experts.

Our first app, Calm helps you calm and settle your mind and is the foundation for improving the power and capabilities of your mind with other apps. It helps build skills like maintaining composure, improving concentration and enhancing productivity.

We carefully selected this as our first Muse experience after an exhaustive exploration. Research has proven over and over that physical and cognitive training is important but if your emotions are controlling you it has an impact. Up to 75% of all doctorís visits are because of stress-related illnesses. Being able to manage mental stress has a significant impact on physical, cognitive and emotional health.

Will Muse allow me to move a mouse cursor with my mind?

This is a question the entire consumer EEG category is asked daily. The answer is: not right now.

At InteraXon we believe calming the mind, and gaining control of what we call your inner technology, is the first discipline required before moving on to more complex interactions with the mind. This is a skill that requires training. We will always be looking at ways to advance the technology in meaningful and useful ways.

Why would I want to use Muse?

Managing stress is the first step to creating a stronger connection to the mind and reaping longer-term benefits including improved concentration and composure. Physical and cognitive well-being is important but if emotions are controlling you, both of those are impacted significantly. Muse helps you manage stress so it doesnít get the better of you.

Everyone knows a healthy body needs time to rest, repair and renew through healthy diet and proper sleep. A healthy body also needs some level of activity and exercise; the mind needs a balance of both. This is why weíve designed Muse.

It is virtually impossible to function at your intellectual best if you are dealing with negative emotions. We recognize how the emotional and intellectual are interconnected, which is why we've designed an integrated system to help people calm their minds. Our first app Calm provides sessions based on scientifically-proven techniques and practices shown to reduce anxiety and stress, focus the mind, and foster responsive versus reactive responses. These practices improve composure, mental clarity, concentration, productivity, and your EQ.

Why is Muse better than other brain fitness tools?

Most brain fitness focuses on the intellectual side: memory, concentration and attention using timed games and exercises to improve your brain's performance. Muse integrates the intellectual and emotional for maximum effect. Other brain training apps score you at the end, but often with no personalized options or suggestions to improve your score for next time. An end score is like getting the number of calories burned or total steps at the end of an exercise. You have no idea how effective you were at meeting your fitness goal.

Muse, and our first app Calm, can provide you with detailed information showing how your brain is performing in real time with in the moment feedback.

What is the cost?

Muse can be purchased directly from InteraXon for $299 USD. This price includes our first app, Calm, and a Basic SDK.

Where can I buy Muse?

You can purchase Muse: the brain sensing headband here.

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What is included in the box?

One Muse headband, a micro-USB charging cable and the User Guide are included in the box. The first app, Calm, can be downloaded from Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, free of charge.

Is Muse a medically certified device?

Muse is not a certified medical device.

Can Muse be used to help with conditions such as ADD, ADHD, or seizures?

At the present time, our in-house research is focused primarily on brain fitness applications and helping the broadest number of people with the issue that has the most impact on their daily lives: reducing stress.

We have and will be continuing to explore how Muse can help improve the daily health and wellness of people facing specific conditions working in partnership with research labs and medical professionals. We feel that these areas require significant validation before launching but we are committed to finding new solutions for people with Muse.

Is InteraXon pursuing research in medical fields using Muse?

To date, InteraXon has not pursued medical research with Muse. Instead of focusing on a specific area of medical research to apply Muse, we created an SDK which could be used by individuals or groups to leverage future research efforts.

Do you offer tech specs for Muse?

Our 1 page Muse Tech Spec Sheet is available here for viewing. This link is a PDF file, and will automatically open in a new browser window.

How does Muse compare to other brain sensing devices?

Muse was designed from the ground up from our custom-built processing, to the application, to the physical design. We carefully reviewed other wearable technologies, and tested them with consumers to ensure Museís final product was designed with consumer needs and wants in mind. Muse is also the first brain sensing headband to include a integrated design of hardware and software, with an API and SDK that is an open standard communication platform.

What kind of sensors do you use, and is there gel required?

Muse is designed with dry sensors, and does not require gel.

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