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NewsDaily: Apps use brainwaves to guide, improve meditation

TORONTO, Mar. 5, 2013 (Reuters) — A new smartphone app aims to ease stress and guide users through meditation by monitoring brain waves that change as people become more relaxed.

Transcend, made by the Canadian company Personal Neuro Devices, links the smartphone to a separately sold headset that records electrical activity along the forehead.

“It doesn’t matter whether you’re meditating as part of a secular practice, or spiritual practice. It all creates the same change in the brain,” said Chad Veinotte, a director of the company, which launched the app last month.

The user picks the duration of time for the meditation and can also opt to listen to a guided audio meditation. A candle graphic in the app grows brighter as the quality of the practice increases, which is determined by brainwaves that indicate relaxation and concentration.

A graph in the app also shows the quality of meditation in real time throughout the session.

“You get to literally look at what’s happening in the mind while you’re doing the practice,” Veinotte said.

Transcend is one of several apps available for the MindWave headsets made by San Jose, California, company NeuroSky, and which connect to smartphones wirelessly. San Francisco-based company Emotiv Systems also creates headsets that run apps.

NeuroSky’s CEO, Stanley Yang, said other uses for the headsets include concentration and focus games.

Veinotte said the headsets, which are also known as brain computer interfaces, will become popular just as sensor-based fitness apps that track distance and speed have.

“We’ll see headsets shrink and get more compact and easier to use, and become something you can wear all day every day,” he said.

Headset manufacturers are working on making them more practical for everyday use by integrating them into musical headsets, and by making them more stylish.

“We’re going to see an explosion in the types of applications available and the way in which people start paying attention to their minds,” Veinotte said.

The app is available for Android. An iPhone version is expected to be released soon.

(Editing by Patricia Reaney; and Peter Galloway)

via NewsDaily: Apps use brainwaves to guide, improve meditation.

 

Neuroscience Startup Launches Transcend, an App That Will Improve Your Meditation – Techvibes.com

Ottawa-based Personal Neuro Devices, a developer of mobile neuro applications, today launched Transcend, an app that gives users actual neuro-feedback about the quality of their meditation.

The Android app, combined with NeuroSky’s Bluetooth-enabled MindWave Mobile headset, allows users to track and improve their meditation practices over time by reporting the quality and duration of their meditation sessions, as well as other metrics. Using these metrics, Transcend can tell when a user is successfully achieving meditative states regularly, or whether a user may benefit from an alternative form of meditation. By measuring and recording meditative states, a user can track his or her progress and receive confirmation that their meditation has been effective, the Canadian company says.

Unlike other meditation apps available today, Transcend directly measures neural activity and takes into account the different ways that people meditate. It includes meditation guides for users new to the practice, or more experienced users looking to try a different style. Transcend’s ability to provide personalized feedback and suggest improvements for more effective meditation can benefit users of any experience level.

“This is the first mobile meditation app that gives constructive feedback based on actual neuro-imaging,” said Tony Gaitatzis, CTO and co-founder at Personal Neuro Devices. “Transcend incorporates proprietary brain-activity-analysis algorithms and is based on research studies with individuals who are new to the practice of mediation as well as experienced users.”

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Personal Neuro Devices to bring Transcend to market,” said Stanley Yang, CEO of NeuroSky. “Transcend will significantly extend and enhance the usefulness and benefits of the MindWave Mobile headset to many new users.”

via Neuroscience Startup Launches Transcend, an App That Will Improve Your Meditation – Techvibes.com.