BrainWave helmet turns moods into music from your mind

BrainWave software assesses the mood and emotional state of a person and converts that into music

Computer music scientist SKot McDonald placing BrainWave helmet on assistant's head, with a display showing the positioning of the sensors in the background.

Computer music scientist SKot McDonald placing BrainWave helmet on assistant's head, with a display showing the positioning of the sensors in the background.

Musicians aren't the only ones able to eloquently express feelings through music thanks to a new Australian invention.

The BrainWave helmet, created by computer music scientist SKot McDonald, has a 14-channel electroencephalogram sensor that picks up the electrical activity of a user's brain and transmits the data to a software system called BrainWave.

The software assesses the mood and emotional state based on that data as well as physical gestures such as smiling, frowning and jaw clenching. The information is then converted using algorithms into sounds that reflect the mood or emotional state of a person.

“For instance, we can detect the user’s level of calm, frustration or excitement and thus vary the tempo, filter positions or even the chords generated in the music,” McDonald said.

The public are invited to trial the BrainWave helmet at the Fringe music event today in Adelaide. The helmet will be at the Internode Powered by Brains stage in Rundall Mall today until 7pm (Adelaide time). The helmet will also be available on 8-9 March at the Adelaide Botanic Gardens during the WOMADelaide music event.

Follow Rebecca Merrett on Twitter: @Rebecca_Merrett

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