NeuroBuds: Brain Wave Mapping Smart Earphones for Rural India

Nitin Vasanth, student of the Cochin University of Science & Technology, Cochin received the BIRAC – SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award-2017 for developing a prototype of a NeuroBuds: Brain Wave Mapping Smart Earphones for Rural India under the guidance of Prof. Unni A M.

NeuroBuds PrototypeAn average human brain consists of over 80 billion neurons. These communicate with each other by sending short ionic impulses, which in turn creates small voltage fluctuations around the proximity of brain. By placing highly sensitive sensors, these fluctuations can be used to understand the brain activity. NeuroBuds is a pair of smart earphones that have these specially fabricated sensors embedded into it to understand the brain activity of user. These sensors are integrated into the architecture of an earphone along with a pre-processor. The data from the sensor is passed on to the Smartphone from where the rest of processing is done. This way of utilization of smartphone processor and smartphone battery to power NeuroBuds reduces the requirement for dedicated on-board processor and battery module reducing the size of device greatly. More importantly this helps reduce the device cost to a price point that makes it accessible to common man who is usually unable to explore other expensive brain activity solutions that exist now. The brain data is analysed to look for anomalies in pattern that indicate brain disorders like Epileptic seizures. This kind of early detection helps in doing pre-emptive action and sending out alerts/SOS. The brain wave data is also used to analyse the mental state of the user, their concentration levels and stress levels. At a time when the working population suffers from stress related issues and sleeping disorders due to a fastpaced lifestyle, NeuroBuds can be used as a mental health monitor. Once the application has enough data coming in from different users, it can recognize patterns and optimize algorithms on its own using the underlying neural network. NeuroBuds serves as the perfect link between the user and the smartphone to monitor other body vitals including heartbeat.

Dr. R A Mashelkar, Chairperson, Research Advisory Committee, SRISTI and NIF, honored Nitin Vasanth, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Cochin, with the prestigious BIRAC-SRISTI Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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