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Brain-powered wearable sends panic signals to smartphone

Luana PASCU

November 01, 2016

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Brain-powered wearable sends panic signals to smartphone

Since users have shown keen interest in smart homes, smart household devices and fitness gadgets, companies have been struggling to come up with the most innovative devices to boost sales. So many connected devices are out there that we”re now dealing with an invasion of trouble-making, rather than problem-solving, prototypes.

Recently, a team of engineering students from Kochi and Bangalore came up with NeuroBuds, a prototype that connects the brain to the smartphone. The device is “a pioneering prototype earphone-shaped electroencephalogram, commonly recognized as ECG.” Developed with women”s safety in mind, the wearable detects neurological signals of panic and automatically sends an SOS to the contact list.

Students George Matthew, Nitin Vasanth, Athul B Raj and Fausya Amalh used 3D printing technology to create the prototype which has just won an award for female empowerment.

“The device uses four electrodes that go inside both ears,” Matthew said. “It samples data and feeds it to the smartphone that runs an app we”ve developed. The app then processes the data with algorithms we wrote. The biggest challenge was to simulate panic. You can do it partially with virtual reality headsets or by getting people to jump. Still, it”s not real panic. We tested the device on a lot of people to drastically bring down the false positives.”

Source: Accenture Innovation Jockeys
Source: Accenture Innovation Jockeys

Because the device might be accidentally triggered, the victim has 10 seconds to dismiss the signal. The device can also analyze the brain and warn if the user is about to fall asleep at the wheel or suffer a psychotic episode.

The product is not currently on the market, as the team wants to further develop its features. So far the cybersecurity aspects of the product haven”t been discussed, meaning the team hasn”t thoroughly investigated the threats and risks associated with an attack. In light of current DDoS attacks through IoT botnets and the Iot malware that”s gaining popularity, their future development plans are hopefully related to endpoint security.

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