Photo: Courtesy Of NeuroSky.
It seems like every day brings a new headline about mindfulness meditation as a magical, quick fix for everything from chronic pain and illness to depression, from sleep issues to ADD. The thing is, the idea of turning off the endless churning of our caffeine-addled minds long enough to mine for a higher consciousness seems like a job better suited to a Tibetan monk than our super-stressed selves. Well, technology has arrived to help us get to a meditative state in no time flat: A new mobile device promises to turn all of us into ninjas of calm and concentration.
A company called NeuroSky has created a Google Glass-esque headset designed to "unlock the power of the human mind and unlock the potential of humankind." Using electroencephalograph (EEG) technology to measure brainwave activity, the headset (called Mindwave Mobile) interfaces with a smartphone app, which alerts the wearer with lights and sounds when they're achieving high scores on the attention and relaxation meters. This indicates an optimal mind state for both concentration and meditation, as both are associated with the brainwave activity generated when the user is focused on one thought or activity, with an otherwise calm, or "silent," mind.
Theoretically, this helps train the brain to be able to reach this level of calm concentration more quickly and unconsciously. The process, called "neurofeedback," has been used recently as an alternative treatment for ADD. For you intrepid meditators out there, Mindwave Mobile is available now for $130 — a small price to pay for potential infinite zen.
Of course, neurofeedback is the new frontier in cognitive science, and more research and testing are needed to see if this sort of treatment really works for the long-term. Still, we love the idea that an EEG headset could teach us to calm down through positive feedback — if you can get past that funky piece of plastic on your forehead, that is. (The Daily Beast).