The EEG (electroencephalogram) is a neurological test which can reveal abnormalities in people’s brain waves. The EEG device is traditionally found only in medical facilities. Most people will take an EEG test at least once on their lives. EEG devices have a few dozens of electrical sensors which can read brain activity and record those activities for later analysis.

Traditional EEG device

Some years ago, a few portable, consumer oriented EEG devices have appeared, one of them being the Emotiv Epoc, a 14 channels wireless EEG device which, although not comparable to an industrial EEG, also allows for some interesting brain wave experiments and visualizations. Interesting enough, differently from the traditional EEG devices which will only record the brain waves for medical analysis of brain health, the portable device also provides some basic facilities for coarse “mind reading”, that is, through some clever real-time analysis of user’s brain activities, it can most of the time, with some effort, detect a few limited “thoughts” like push, pull and move. So, the user can (again, in a very limited way) effectively control the computer with his mind. It even provides an SDK for advanced users and programmers to develop their own applications.

That is all cool, but that was not really what I was looking for, though. I wanted more low-level device access, direct to the metal, raw sensors reading for research purposes. I posted a new Youtube video showing the first prototype of a real-time brain wave analyzer that I just started to develop for personal AI research purposes.

At the time of recording, I was wearing an Emotiv Epoc and the waves were from real, raw EEG data being read from my own brain. I used a hacked low-level driver (on Linux) to get complete access to the raw sensors of the device, instead of using its built-in software which provides limited access to its sensor readings. The hacked driver was not written by me though — when searching for low-level Epoc protocol info, I found Emokit-c which already opened the full access that I wanted. So, from there I connected the device data stream to the 3D engine and made the first prototype over the weekend.

For now the prototype is rough yet, just showing raw waves with no further processing. In the near future, I plan to have a Neural Network connected to this raw EEG analyzer, learning patterns from thoughts and emotions, and doing more useful (possibly serious, medical related) things.

Although the prototype seems to be just a graphics demo, as said above it’s not just fancy rendering, it’s in reality talking to a real device and getting real raw EEG data from its sensors, which will later on be processed by a Neural Network with serious intents.

More about this in the future, when time permits.