Posted by: psilva | September 24, 2014

I Think, Therefore I am Connected


A plastic hanger is NOT a Thinkable Descartes proclaimed that since we can think, it was proof that we existed. Well today, we exist in a connected world and while wearables seem to be all the rage – at least according to me – soon those hot items might be kicked to the curb with the next hottest thing: Thinkables.

You heard, or rather read that right. Thinkable. Just what is a thinkable? Well, it is a wearable (on your head) but it tracks brain activity. Muse is the first consumer-focused headband that reads brain activity and helps you to stop thinking so much. That’s right, ahhhh…ummmm…errrr…what was that again? Oh yeah, stop thinking. It is a Bluetooth connected headset that helps you meditate. It also comes with an app called Muse Calm which tracks your Zen like state. It turns meditation into a game and you only need to play it 3 minutes a day.

Meditation can help people with anxiety, heart problems, headaches and other ails. Every morning on my walk/run I meditate and chant. Sometimes it is a Buddhist phrase or a Hawaiian chant over and over and over mixed with whatever song is in my head. It certainly does help me clear my brain but also prepare for the day. Without getting all religious or philosophical, but I am able to connect with whatever energy is stirring in the universe. Over the years, many personal roadblocks were suddenly cleared since that ‘ah ha!’ moment instantly appeared. ‘Why didn’t I think of that earlier?‘ I wonder to myself. It came to me since my brain was uncluttered. Einstein said that he didn’t want to remember his own phone number since he could look it up (reference it) and he didn’t want to clutter his brain with useless information. Have you ever noticed that some of the best ideas come when your brain is wandering or not really focusing on a single task?

But back to the Muse.

After installing on your head, it’ll calibrate with your brain (and the app) and then will tell you to think of a few things. This is to get your brain away from what it is currently doing and light up your frontal lobes. Based on the initial brain readings, it’ll then take you through a meditation session. When you brain is starting to slow down and your calm(er) self is focusing on breathing, you’ll hear a breeze. The weather you hear reflects the state of your brain and if your mind wanders, the weather will change. If you go deeper into relaxation, then the birds start chirping. The more birds that are singing, the more Zen like you are. The app will also report how much of the time your brain spent in three categories: Active, Neutral and Calm. As far as the game aspect, you earn points for each session and can unlock additional functionality all while understanding the patterns of your brain activity.

This, I am sure, is just the initial rush of many brain readers that’ll be competing for our attention – or non-attention in the case of Muse. Oh, and a plastic hanger does NOT work as a Thinkable – in case you were thinking that.

ps

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