- The Unlimited Possibilities of Wearable EEG
The Unlimited Possibilities of Wearable EEG
Wireless EEG and biosignal acquisition systems are becoming more important in Brain-Computer Interface research, especially when studies tend to take part in the field instead of in the lab. g.Nautilus is g.tec’s wireless EEG solution that is designed to be completely different from all other devices and sets a new standard of usability. The tiny and lightweight device is attached to the EEG cap to avoid cable movements and to allow completely free movement. In combination with active electrode technology, top quality EEG recordings from 64/32/16/8 channels are easy to get within few minutes. This article shows some of the many application fields and opportunities for wireless EEG systems such as g.Nautilus.
During stroke rehabilitation, patients perform different movements (e.g. hand movement, leg movement,…) and therefore it is very important to record artifact free EEG. Furthermore, patients participate in multiple recording sessions; active electrodes allow for an easy and fast montage setup of the EEG electrodes. BCI studies have shown that BCI performance in experiments performed with active electrodes is superior to passive electrodes.
Disorders of Consciousness (DOC) patients are normally seated or lying in bed, and therefore a wireless solution is easier to mount than a wired EEG system. These patients may also suffer from uncontrollable movements, which could pull on the electrodes and degrade both the EEG quality and the clinical assessment. We have also noticed that fewer recordings are dismissed because of artifacts in the data when wireless systems are used. This is especially important for this patient group, where clean recordings are very difficult to acquire. A g.Nautilus with 16 active electrodes can be mounted within 1-2 minutes and this makes it particularly well suited for various brain assessments (ADHD, Parkinson, cognitive functions,…).
Communication systems for locked-in patients are used on a daily basis and therefore an easy and fast montage setup, coupled with high data quality, is essential. Dry electrode systems allows for a rapid montage setup with 8 EEG electrodes and gives nice data quality for recordings even at home. In this case it is important that active electrodes are used and that the device is very lightweight. The battery lasts for 8 hours of continuous recording and the completely sealed housing makes usage easier.
Sports Science and Medicine
In sports applications very light equipment is crucial, because otherwise nobody would want to wear an EEG device. g.Nautilus weights about as much as a climbing carabiner and has very compact packaging. The dry EEG version is well suited for high-altitude medicine because it does not require a hair wash. This is especially useful in remote locations where it would be difficult to get a hair wash. For faster sports, it is crucial to have very good contact between the head and the electrode and therefore the gel version is recommended for these applications. If the g.Nautilus is well prepped, people can even jump and run without seeing artifacts in the data.
The high resolution EEG system with 64 channels enables exoskeleton control with motor imagery, P300 and SSVEP based BCI systems. The system has electrodes over the brain regions most important for finding control signals (motor cortex, central areas, visual cortex) for every type of BCI. The high number of electrodes can also be used for spatial filtering of the data to further improve the control quality.
g.Nautilus can also be used easily in aviation because of the fast montage setup and the artifact-free data, even in moving objects. Therefore, the system can easily be used in cars, plains, flight simulators and even g-simulators for pilots and astronauts. Very often VR is used to simulate such aviation scenarios, and persons are embedded in a virtual environment where embodiment is increased when they are not wired up to other equipment. A BCI system in VR allows the user to navigate or control the scenario without touching everything. g.Nautilus also works nicely together with eye-trackers and video cameras so that electrophysiological parameters can be analyzed for neuromarketing applications.
The wireless g.Nautilus opens up new ways of doing cognitive neuroscience experiments because subjects can move during experiments and can be seated in new environments that were difficult to handle beforehand like cars, airplane simulators, high altitude chambers or hypobaric pressure chambers and Virtual Reality environments. Experiments can also last longer because the headset is very lightweight and discomfort is reduced. Data quality is improved because of reduced artifacts. In addition to brain functions, acceleration data of the head can be analyzed. This gives new ways of artifact detection for experimental analyses.
New versions of g.Nautilus
The wireless g.Nautilus system opens up many new research areas that were not possible beforehand. For example, it can be used easily with children because it sits completely on the head and children do not try to remove it. Furthermore, free-moving applications can now be studied and participants are not locked to certain locations. Finally, on-demand EEG recordings can be triggered by external events while the user is wearing the system.