Bisensorial: A brain-computer interface hack using tactile and auditory stimuli
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Bisensorial is a prototype that was developed at Hack the Brain 2016 (www.hackthebrain.nl), a three-day hackathon in Amsterdam based on the theme of ‘hacking one's self better (or worse)’. BISENSORIAL was a fully working proof-of-concept of a technology for inducing desired mental states using touch and sound that evolved in response to EEG readings. A genetic algorithm generated patterns of auditory stimuli and tactile stimuli down a user’s back, based on readings provided by an EEG headset. The result is intended to be a personalised soundscape and ‘touchscape’ that adjusts to the user to construct the most efficient bisensorial stimuli for inducing a desired mental state. In order to both structurally encourage skin contact and freedom of motion we produced a spine structure cast in platinum prosthetic silicone that would provide a casing for the electronic components. This electronic spine is skin-like to touch and sculpturally mimics the anatomy of the vertebrae, giving the structure a visual reference regarding its function: as a sensorial device for the spinal column. The spine was integrated into a bespoke dress designed to maximise skin contact as well as provide torso support in order to relax the extensor muscles and make the tactile stimuli more perceptible.
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