Can a brain-computer boost your productivity? We take a look at the Neurosity Crown

The wearable device Neurosity Crown rests on your skull and senses brainwaves to help you get “in the flow”.

With EEG, onboard AI and machine learning, Neurosity claims that its Crown device – a wearable piece of tech for your head – can automatically detect when you’re working away. When it does, it mutes all of your notifications so you can work without distraction and then plays productivity-enhancing music to keep you going. Let me explain…

Hacking your flow

In simple terms, the Crown is a device that you put on your head to increase concentration. How? It reads brain waves to detect when you’re in the flow, and by that, Neurosity means a focused state of mind. That’s what the company claims the device can help you to achieve, all without drugs or other mind focusing exercises.

Instead, the Crown records the brain’s electrical activity through electrodes that are placed on the scalp. Eight little rubber sensors, otherwise known as EEG sensors, measure changes within the brain, accessing the visual cortex, which is the part of the brain that processes visual information. 

Eager to discover more tech devices for your brain? Take a look at the Core meditation trainer which is like a Fitbit for your brain.

The Crown was introduced by Neurosity to increase concentration while you are “in the flow” – ©Neurosity

“The Crown’s computing module is as powerful as a Macbook Air,” Neurosity says, not specifying whether that’s an Intel or M1 model. “With a quad-core 1.8Gz CPU, the Crown is able to get thousands of data points from the brain every second without losing data in transmission. The new sensor configuration includes access to the visual cortex completing coverage to all four lobes of the brain.”

The part of the brain the device really focuses on is the frontal lobe, where the ability to concentrate is located. Studying oscillations in the brainwaves, the EEG sensors are able to capture data hundreds of times per second, understanding with great accuracy if a user is focused, calm and relaxed. The Crown then tracks and quantifies an individual’s brain waves to better understand what retains focus and what introduces distraction.

Managing focus with music

One way the Crown does this is by measuring the brain’s response to music and identifying which songs promote concentration. Working with the Neurosity music shift app, the device connects with your Spotify premium account to automatically suggest more songs it knows will keep you in the flow longer. 

Using the Crown is easy. When you’re ready to get to work, simply put it on your head and the Crown will get to work on helping you hit maximum efficiency. At 8.8 ounces the device is easily portable and it looks expectedly futuristic, resting easily and comfortably on the crown of the head. 

The Crown hardware features Near-field Communication (NFC) for fast pairing. Simply tap the back of the device with your smartphone, and the connection is instantly made. Meanwhile, haptic motors gently vibrate to let users know when the device needs charging, which only takes 30 minutes – perfectly timed for a short break between sessions.

Working with the Neurosity music shift app, the Crown connects with your Spotify premium account to automatically suggest more songs it knows will keep you in the flow longer – ©Neurosity

The brains behind Neurosity

Neurosity is a New York based startup founded by AJ Keller, a former Boeing employee, and Alex Castillo, an ex-Netflix engineer. Together, and with the help of neuroscientists, they have spent three years focusing on human interface design to make Crown the easiest to use EEG wearable ever. Neurosity launched the first personal brain computer, Notion 1, in 2019 with the aim of helping consumers unlock their potential and achieve more.

Sharing technology, not brains

Neurosity is in the process of developing more apps to work in conjunction with the crown but its approach is collaborative. The Crown is available to developers that want to create the next generation of neuro apps. Companies like Drowzee, another neurotech startup, are already undergoing clinical trials for treating insomnia with the Crown.

It’s worth noting though, the Crown uses a wearable EEG sensor that is secure, encrypting your brain activity so no nasty tech giants can use it to target you with annoying ads.

How can product design enhance a better future? Don’t miss Design for/from future with Phnam & Mardis Bagley!

Neurosity Crown is available to developers that want to create the next generation of neuro apps – ©Neurosity
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