The Brainwriter

Inspired by the progression of Tempt's ALS, the Brainwriter is a next-gen device that allows the user to draw using only their thoughts... for $400.
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Inspired by the progression of Tempt's ALS, the Brainwriter is a next-gen device that allows the user to draw using only their thoughts... for $400.

Not Impossible’s partnering with OpenBCI to create The Brainwriter, a personal EEG device to operate a computer mouse or gaming console, creates a seamless interface between brain and machine.  

Brainwriter will enable people suffering from any kind of neuromuscular syndrome to continue to write and draw as their condition worsens, and is inspired by the life of urban graffiti artist Tempt One for whom The EyeWriter was developed.  As Tempt’s ALS progresses, he’s lost the ability to fast-blink, the binary switch that engages and disengages The Eyewriter mouse. With the loss of this muscular function, we needed to come up with a way for Tempt to continue to speak with his family and express himself through his art. He’d been underwater for 10 years before the Eyewriter, we had to find a way to keep him afloat. 

EEG technology has been around for a while, and while there are already several companies, like Emotiv, creating personal brain-computer interfaces, they range in price from $800 to $2,000 and are not open-source. This means they can only interface with a limited number of electronics platforms. 

Not Impossible’s DIY, open-source design will cost around $400. Brainwriter will be compatible with both active and passive electrodes and able to easily interface with nearly all modern electronics platforms, such as Arduino. 

The hope is Brainwriter will serve as a malleable foundation for further hacking and solution-building from software designers, researchers, and the maker community. 

Brainwriter will begin it’s world tour this summer as part of The Barbican Museum’s Digital Revolution. The exhibit will be, "the most comprehensive presentation of digital creativity ever to be staged." 

Barbican Digital Revolution

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Headliner of the Wearable Technologies section, the Brainwriter exhibit will allow museum visitors to interact with and control audio and visual platforms using only their thoughts.  The exhibit debuts July 3- September 14 2014 in London.