ALPHA – brainwave controlled interactive video installation

The main focus of the installation is brain wave controlled video screening. The data coming from the sensor is divided into six parts (from the relaxed to the focused state of attention), and assigned to six video-loops. The intensity of the brain waves in the given zones control the layered and cross-faded alpha channels of the video-loops. (2012)

This means that the higher the intensity of the brainwaves, the more visible the corresponding video becomes. The visitor who activates the system needs to be in a relaxed state with closed eyes (thus gamma brainwaves reduce, and alpha and beta waves grow), therefore he/she cannot see the result; only the visitors standing in front of the screen can see it. Otherwise, the actuators gamma waves gain strength. In the exhibition the spectators will able to spend different times in different states according to their ability of isolation from the outside world.

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hardware and software

There is a controller called Mindflex that hacked with an Arduino Duemilanove to gather the sensorial data. This controller measures the user’s brain activity in the frontal lobes. It processes the frequencies, which represent the activity status from meditation to attention.

Two different programs were used to develop this work: Arduino and VVVV. The first one reads the data from the Mindflex through the Arduino board, and the second one gets these numbers through the serial port. VVVV also plays the layered video-loops while the intensity of the waves control their alpha channels. The brain activity can be measured in multiple ranges therefore numerous pictures appear. Because the data varies person by person therefore the resulting video loops will be different. The data coming from the sensor is divided into six parts (from the relaxed to the focused state of attention), and assigned to six video-loops. The intensity of the brain waves in the given zones control the layered and cross-faded alpha channels of the video-loops. This means that the higher the intensity of the brainwaves, the more visible the corresponding video becomes. The visitor who activates the system needs to be in a relaxed state with closed eyes (thus gamma brainwaves reduce, and alpha and beta waves grow), therefore he/she cannot see the result; only the visitors standing in front of the screen can see it. Otherwise, the actuators gamma waves gain strength, therefore she/he can see only a certain video.

In the exhibition the spectators were able to spend different times in different states according ttheir ability of isolation from the outside world.

alpha_brainwavebased-2_2012

alpha_brainwavebased-3_2012

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