2020 year end

December 30, 2020

Our progress update to close out 2020 – experiments we’ve been running, and next steps for the Enowork app!

Jacob Flood, December 30 2020


Hey Backers,

With 2020 winding down, we’re working hard to finish our next batch of 250 Enophones. We’re on schedule with these units – manufacturing is near-complete, and they’ll be shipping in the next couple weeks.

Incase you missed it: check out our previous update for information about our shipping timeline, shipping order, and how to update your address. 

In parallel, we’ve been reflecting on our progress this year, and looking eagerly towards our next steps. While our focus has been primarily on shipping our hardware, we’ve been making quiet progress on our data science and software in the background. In this update, we’ll be focusing on the most exciting part of Eno: the neurotech.

 

TL;DR

We mentioned in our last update that we’ve shipped 350 units to date, and are shipping the next 250 in the coming weeks. We’re still on schedule for this batch. Check out our previous update for our most recent timeline.

This update we’re discussing several neurotech experiments that we’ve run recently using Enophones – measuring blink rates, SSVEPs, alpha blockades, and more. Check out the full update for the details.

Last, we go through the next few features we’re designing into the Enowork app. We’ve been listening to the feedback of our beta testers, and we’re really excited about the next steps for our software.

And of course, wishing everyone a Happy New Year!

 

Neurotech Experiments

On the software side of Eno, the majority of our emphasis has been on data science: building a core competence in using the EEG data we gather from Enophone to extract meaningful metrics that we can build into our app.

With the finished version of Enophone now available, we’ve been running experiments to demonstrate what we can measure with the device. Below we’ll be showing 5 experiments that we’ve run recently, and speaking to the broader implications of what’s coming next for our product.

   1. Blink rate

While Electroencephalography (EEG) refers to the electrical activity from the brain, our bodies produce several other sources of electrical activity that can be detected by Enophone’s sensors. Electrooculography (EOG) refers to the electrical activity generated by eye movements – namely, a sharp electrical spike whenever you blink.

In our data, we’ve seen that in the filtered EEG signal, blinks are often visually identifiable. Given that blink rates are strongly correlated with focused attention, this is good news: measuring blink may contribute an additional physiological axis to our focus metric.

   2. Heart rate

Building on what we said above, electrocardiography (ECG) represents the electrical activity produced by the heart. Because Enophone’s ear cup sensors are closer to the heart than the top sensors, at very low frequencies we can often detect fluctuations in our data generated by the ECG signal.

This is very interesting to us. Because ECG has better time-sensitivity than pulse oximetry (the heart rate technology in smartwatches), we have the potential to generate some very accurate heart rate readings from Enophone. While we haven’t yet confirmed this, measuring heart rate variability and breathing rate through this signal is also potentially feasible. These metrics are strongly correlated with physiological responses to stress, focus, and many other neuro-physiological states.

We’re very excited by these preliminary results. We’ll be looking to investigate incorporating blink rate and heart rate into our enowork metrics in early 2021, while exploring what other information we can gather from these signals.

   3. SSVEP/ASSR

This one is slightly more esoteric: Steady State Visually Evoked Potentials (SSVEP) are a harmonic response generated in the brain when visually exposed to specific frequencies. In other words: when a light flashes at a particular frequency, that same frequency will be reflected in your brain activity.

During our experiment, the subject was exposed to a 6Hz flashing light on a computer monitor for a few seconds. In the frequency vs time graph of their data, we can clearly see a sharp spike at 6Hz from their brain reflecting the stimulus.

This response was also replicated in the auditory domain, known as an Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) – when subjects listened to a 40Hz isochronic tone, we were able to detect a sharp spike in their data showing that their brain reflects that same frequency.

The reason this matters is that these signals are the basis of many actively controlled brain computer interface experiences. SSVEP-based systems have been used to enable communication, as users look at a grid of letters flashing at different frequencies in order to select the letters they want to communicate.

While this is not our area of focus, we’ll be looking to partner with organizations that can use these functions to enable new experiences using Enophone, building out the next generation of brain-computer interfaces.

   4. Alpha Blockade

“Alpha waves” is the title given to brainwaves occurring in the [8, 13]Hz frequency band. Alpha waves are strongly correlated and anticorrelated with several neurological states, and as a result are frequently cited in EEG literature.

The alpha blockade (known as the berger effect) is a particular phenomena whereby opening your eyes from a closed state causes a dramatic decrease in alpha activity. The opposite is also true: closing your eyes will consistently cause a dramatic spike in alpha activity.

Using Enophones, we were able to repeatably isolate these alpha blockades in real-world use. The graph below shows alpha activity plotted during a session where the subject opened and closed their eyes at 10 second intervals. The clear spikes and dips are indicative of these alpha blockades.

The clarity and repeatability of this signal make it very interesting. We are considering creating a classifier that recognizes when a users eyes are closed, and triggers an action in our app – say, starting a meditation session. We’ll be looking to run these experiments on a larger scale in 2021 to validate the accuracy, and determine whether this feature can add value to your day. 

   5. Focus

And of course, we’ve been experimenting with our focus metric.

We’ll be sharing a much more in-depth analysis of our focus metric, using performance proxies across different experiences – so stay tuned for that post. But in the meantime, we ran a quick fun experiment where we got users to alternate every 60 seconds between a mental arithmetic task, and a relaxing wakeful meditation. When we applied our focus metric, the results clearly portrayed changes in the two states of mind.

These experiments provide a simple way to explore the possibilities of what we can do with Enophone, as well as offering the chance to replicate some of traditional EEG experiments. We’ll be exploring these on a larger scale moving forward, in order to start leveraging the portability of Enophone to contribute to the current neurotechnology knowledge base.

Naturally, we want to share this with you as well – we’ll be building tools in the near future to allow you to test and experiment with your Enophone at home. If you’re interested in these experiments, and have ideas about your own experiments you’d like to run, let us know in the comments!

 

Enowork next steps

As a few hundred backers have started using our app, we’ve been working hard to test and refine the beta release. The last few months have focused exclusively on bug-fixing, as we get our first experience of shipping our software paired to the hardware at scale. Thank you again to everyone who’s helped us with bug-finding to date.

We’ve made some big progress in this area – with our next release we expect to be stable and fully functional on the vast majority of our backers’ devices. Because of this, we’ve started planning out the next few features we intend to implement, on the road to building an incredible experience that leverages the full potential of Enophone.

We wanted to share here the next few features we have in mind for the Enowork app.

   1. Automatic session start

The Enowork app is designed around deep work sessions – fixed periods of time during which we track your focus level and app usage. For simplicity to start, these sessions are started and stopped by clicking a button in the dashboard of the app.

Our first priority is implementing this feature the way we’d intended: automatically starting each session when you put on your Enophone. This way, all of your focus data will be tracked by default, with no additional action required.

This will make tracking your focus fully seamless – put on the headphones, and the rest just happens. We’re quite excited about this change, and we’ll keep you posted on the timeline for sharing the major update.

   2. Experimentation platform

This has been our most-asked-for feature for quite a while now. We intend to implement an experimentation platform within our app, where you’ll be able to record sessions, view your data and metrics in real time, and export your data for further analysis.

For all of you neurotech enthusiasts: if you have preferences for what features get added here, or how we can make the experimental setup more seamless, please do reach out!  

   3. Data visualization

In one of our earlier updates, we built a very quick-and-dirty data visualization graph as a demo into the app. Based on the feedback we’ve gotten, this is an area we intend to build out much more thoroughly.

The goal is to offer a page where you can visualize your raw brainwaves, but also your focus metrics, all in real time. We’re also looking at other tools like a frequency breakdown (theta, alpha, beta waves) and other indicators that could prove useful. The ultimate goal is to build this information into the deep work page, such that during any session you can view your data at a glance anytime Enophone is worn.

Let us know if there’s other information you’d like to see in this kind of page!

   4. Daily view, and beyond

The current app helps you visualize focus levels in discrete sessions – each session is assigned a focus score, and offers insight into your brain activity during that period. From the feedback we’ve gotten, we intend to add a daily view as well, where you can see your day’s sessions amalgamated into a single view.

Beyond this, we will be looking to unlock our stats page, which offers weekly and monthly comparisons as well. This will be where we continue to add content over time, extracting additional insights from patterns across your sessions.

Our work is cut out for us, and we’re excited to be making progress with every release! We want to thank our beta testers once again for helping support our launch. In particular, shout out to the following users for their invaluable feedback: Kaben, Spechter, Brett, Mrbernz, M4tt_D4mon, JFNZ, Gustav, Sdimert, Cameron, Moibensa, Drex, Impish, Mobuli, Koguma, Tsetsefly, TheSingh, Adrian, Antoinette, Oldkidlg, and Raabuchanan!


2020 has been a wild ride, but we’re so excited to have been able to finish it by shipping hundreds of Enophones. We can’t wait to ship the remaining units next year, so all of you can share in the experience.

Thank you so much to everyone for your support. Take care, be safe, and from the team here at Eno we wish you a happy new year across the world.

Lots of love,

– The Eno Team

Comments

  • Jennifer Young

    Wow, the data clarity looks incredible. Can’t wait to start running my own experiments!

    • Jacob (eno)

      Glad you’re as excited as we are! Be sure to send us your results when you run experiments so we can share in the fun 🙂

  • John M.

    Very exciting, congrats on finally shipping. Can’t wait to get mine.

    Question: is there a timeline on these new features you mentioned?

    • Jacob (eno)

      Thanks John – can’t wait to ship your enophone!

      Each feature will take a couple months to properly build, integrate, and QA before releasing. So expect these features to roll out every few updates throughout 2021. We’ll share more details about the timeline once we get through shipping the majority of the outstanding Enophones.

  • Mike

    Thanks for sharing this, I’d forgotten about this product but this update got me excited again! Is the data you’re using for this analysis available from our devices? Can we run these kinds of experiments ourselves? I’m really curious to see how my focus level changes while I’m gaming.

    • Jacob (eno)

      Hey Mike – yes indeed! You can read the raw data from enophones directly, and run your own experiments using this. Our cofounder has been playing with using the data while he performs certain tasks – we’ll be sharing some of those results in a future blog post!

      If you run any experiments with your own data, be sure to reach out to us so we can share in your fun!

  • Deepak

    I’ve worked with EEG a little in the past, and to be honest I didn’t expect these sensors to be this sensitive – amazing job guys. I’m a little confused by the heart rate graph though – why does it look like a sine wave rather than a typical ECG? Is that just some filtering, or are you picking up something different? Thanks!

    • Jacob (eno)

      We’re excited by the quality as well!

      Great question. In order to isolate the heart rate signal, we filtered out the high-frequencies in the graph above. This includes the part of the signal that gives an ECG reading its distinct spike. As a result, all that remains is the ultra-low-frequency modulation – it’s the same signal, but visualized differently.

  • Syrus

    I’M SO EXCITED! When will I be receiving mine?

    • Jacob (eno)

      We share in your excitement!

      We shared our latest timeline in our November update – check it out for a sense of when we’re shipping your batch: https://enophone.com/november-update/

  • Boris Brodski

    Very exciting! Do you support Linux?

    I don’t use Windows or Mac so I hope you do!

    If you need help porting to Linux, reach out for me.

    • Jacob (eno)

      Hey Boris – thanks for the offer! I’ll have our dev team reach out for help testing the Linux builds.

      We are indeed intending to support linux, and we’ve built linux versions of each release along the way. Our QA efforts are focused on Mac/Windows at the moment, but once that’s stable we’ll be adding linux support to the mix.

  • Red

    Another Time only a lot of hot air. And the usual lies. Looking up your last update, that 250 units should have been shipped by now. Not in the process of assembling. At your actual production rate you will deliver the last backed unit somewhere mid 2024 …….
    to be honest I don’t belive this. Actually it’s more probable that you will file bancruptcy before the end of february.
    It’s people like you that give Kickstarter a bad rap. Proof me wrong. With facts not words.

    • Jacob (eno)

      We’re striving to do so with every batch we ship Looking forward to shipping your enophone Red!

  • Steve

    “on schedule” is so obviously and obnoxiously not true. On WHAT schedule? You must always mean TODAY’S NEW DELAYED schedule, not last month’s. The Dec. 3 update said the 250 units were supposed to ship in Dec. Now you say it’ll be weeks from now, which puts them into late Jan or Feb. “near complete” ugh. Dec. 3 you called “near complete” “currently being reviewed by the manufacturing team for quality control”. Lies? Bad info from China? Lots of quality control issues? What’s really going on? Do tell. That’s what this blog is supposed to do. Here’s what we know is true: Those 250 units didn’t ship in Dec as you said they would.

    Just tell the ugly truth already. Even the “good” news is already ugly because of the timelines – the most casual observer already knows this project is ridiculously delayed. Meeting some recent schedule is NOT going to be much of a win for you. Us eventually getting the actual product instead of you going bankrupt is the best we’re hoping for.

    I hope you’re better at making the headphones than you are estimating how long it takes to make them.

    • Jacob (eno)

      Hey Steve, sorry if it wasn’t clear – we did indeed manufacture the units in December, but the shipping from china takes a few weeks to arrive to the backers. That batch is currently on its way, and backers are receiving them as we speak. We’re doing our best to keep our updates are precise as possible and to be honest about when timelines slip, but in this case we’re happy to say that we achieved the schedule we announced in November.

      We’ll have more details about upcoming batches in our next update!

  • Paul Sommer

    Wow guys, you did it again! I am impressed. Another promise to the list of promises your never kept – and you are just keeping the path of telling something that is not true. God medal to you guys. You are 4 years behind now… That is a record! The question is, are you proud of it? Now you are telling stories about software that you promised 4 years ago in the campaign. Is that something to be proud of? What have you done for last 4 years? Sitting on your hands? You are indeed not trustworthy. Just for once, GIVE US AN HONEST UPDATE. Not all the bla, bla you have managed for the last year’s.
    Someone else wrote on your last update that you are a sad laugh and I totally agree.

    • Jacob (eno)

      Hey Paul – I empathize with your frustration, and I’ll be the first to acknowledge that bringing this new technology to life has been significantly harder and longer than we anticipated. As a result, we’ve made it our mission to deliver on the promises we set, despite that difficulty. Having shipped hundreds of units to date, we are in fact proud of what we’ve accomplished and hope that once you receive your product you will be as well.

  • Michael K

    Hey Jacob! Really excited to see the end is near. Not all people will understand the complexities of delivering on a project like this, so kudos to you for pushing through with something great. I’m backer 102 on Kickstarter and see that you have mentioned that orders have been shipped out already based on pledge date but I don’t seem to have received any tracking info on my order which technically would have been sent in one of the first two shipments. I understand you are very busy so if you don’t have the time to check no worries, I will patiently wait. But if you have the time to check the status of my order it would be appreciated. Really excited to try them out! Cheers! Happy New Years!

    • Jacob (eno)

      Hi Michael – thank you for the kind words and continued support 🙂

      I wasn’t able to find your pledge using your email address. You’re correct that kickstarter backer 102 should have received it by now. Can you please email me at jacob@enophone.com so we can sort this out?

      Looking forward to shipping your enophone!

  • Jim Cline

    Reading this post makes me particularly agitated. This company and Jacob are either willingly dishonest or they are blind to reality. I need to stop checking and accept I will likely never see a product or at best, will see one in 2022.

    • Jacob (eno)

      No dishonesty here, but I empathize with your frustration. We’re doing the best we can to ship the remaining products quickly, and look forward to shipping yours!

  • Roy H

    “we’ve been reflecting on our progress this year, and looking eagerly towards our next steps” Do tell as I heard in ancient times. It appears your reflections should only take a couple of minutes as it appears no progress was made in 2020. Your focus should be on ramping up hardware production and don’t worry about “Eno: the neurotech”. You can do a software update later, if that will even be possible.
    Your team obviously has zero business sense and I too will be surprised if you do not go bankrupt. I don’t quite understand how you are still afloat.
    And what is most interesting of all is that you are actually advertising on social media and pulling more suckers into your web of deception.
    Just send me a pair of Bose QuietComfort headphones and I will be happy. That’s what I should have purchased in the first place.

  • Steven Stein

    Can I get an estimate on when I will receive mine?

  • Brennan Foo

    There are many people upset in the comments about delays. To those people I say: being upset is reasonable, and yes, it has been a long time. But haranguing Jacob and his team will do little to help. And so, while expressing your discontent — thoughtfully — at the delays is reasonable, we should also be appreciative of the updates the team is sharing. This started as a Kickstarter campaign, not as a promise of a fully-baked product ready to ship. It is always risky for a hardware company to try to bring a new product to market (especially a groundbreaking one with this scale of technical complexity), and it is similarly risky to back one.

    From my perspective: the best thing we can ask for is for Jacob & team to exhibit good judgment. Some delays have probably been within their control (taking longer than expected to develop & test), but there are delays that are simply outside of their reasonable control (like, say, a global pandemic).

    So, as someone who has worked at a hardware company that was significantly delayed (but ultimately successful) in fulfilling our Kickstarter campaign: I’m really, really impressed with progress you’ve made. I’ve never seen a team so consistently update their backers with deep tech updates, charts, and data, and wow — those charts look really promising. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on a pair of these and think that going slowly, steadily, and thoughtfully is better than rushing to push out a shitty product.

    Disclosure: I am a (tiny) investor in eno.

  • Morris

    Hi There!
    I don’t receive my order at Kickstarter.
    Has anyone received the product?
    Please tell me when the person who received the product received it?

    • Jacob (eno)

      We’ve shipped hundreds of units so far, and we’re shipping more as we speak! You can check out our November update for a detailed shipping timeline: https://enophone.com/november-update/

      Looking forward to shipping your enophone!

  • Mareike

    Hej guys,
    great update and really fantastic to hear the progress you made and the ambition you have for the future.
    I am really looking forward to receive my own enophones.
    I also want to thank you for taking your time to develop the headphones properly and put so much effort and thoughts in them – for this kind of work I am happy to wait 🙂

    I also want to raise the question regarding Linux. Do you have plans to also support Linux as I do not use Microsoft or Mac. That would be really really great!

    Have a good day, cheers
    Mareike

    • Jacob (eno)

      Thank you for the kind words Mareike – can’t wait to get your feedback on the product!

      We do intend to support Linux, and we’ve tested our Linux builds along the way. We’re prioritizing Mac/Windows right now to make sure those are stable, but we’ll be releasing a linux version as soon as we can

  • Jette Skovgaard

    I haven’t received my Kickstarter order and I made the order in 2018!!!
    Yes like Morris write please tell if anyone already has received their headset

    best Eette

    • Jacob (eno)

      We’ve shipped several hundred units to date! Several backers have posted comments about their experience, and one even shared a review: https://youtu.be/Hbh2IqXKNOA

      Eager to get more reviews with our latest batch

  • Paul cartwright

    I’m eagerly awaiting the headphone, it would be great to hear how people who have received the product are getting on. I have found one review on YouTube https://youtu.be/Hbh2IqXKNOA

  • John T

    Any update on shipping? I’m backer 580 and still have not get any update as to when my headphones will be be delivered? Looking at the schedule it should have already been dispatched but some sort of confirmation email would have been nice! If it still does not arrive by February, is there anyway to get a refund? It’s 4 years over schedule and it’s really well over anyone’s patience.

    Kind regards,
    John

    • Jacob (eno)

      Hey John – we’re still working on the timeline we shared in our November update: https://enophone.com/november-update/.

      We’ll share more details in our next update shortly!

  • Tom Massey

    I have placed my order! I’ve been tracking the project since 2016. Frankly, I thought it was unrealistic to solve The technological problems you needed to do on the budget you had. Just an over-ambitious entrepreneur with a great idea and no understanding of R&D. Let me state just how nutty the idea was. The idea was to take a severely limited number of dry ->DRY<- EEG sensors and embed them into a stereo headset—something the average consumer can take on and off and have it tethered to a phone app. Then have the signals filtered and send a audio signal based on a neurological trigger. Five years ago, the industry practice started with 50+ sensors GLUED in place by an EEG technician. My imagination limited me, so I did not buy until now. But someone there must have ADHD because of the over-promising of delivery times. But my hats off to the teams tenacity, backbone, and moral fortitude to stick to it. Your foundation now in and you starting to batch release and adjust. CONGRATULATIONS! Haha, now that I am order number 5 billion, I demand you get off your lazy asses and FedEx me my pair 🙂

    • Jacob (eno)

      Haha over-ambitious sounds correct. Thanks for the vote of confidence Tom – looking forward to getting your feedback on the final product!

  • pedro

    Hi, I place my order 4 years ago. I havent heard anything. I have being e-mailing you guys multiple times regarding my purchase and so far nothing. Please contacte me and tell me when Ill receive my headphones (I ordered 2 headphones).
    I do understand how hard is to desing and manufacture such a complicated device. I do understand the time & suffering behind R&D. I just want to hear from you guys. please contac me. Thanks

    • Jacob (eno)

      Hey Pedro – I’ve responded to the email you sent me! 🙂

  • JC

    When will there be another update to the blog? I hope it’s not just sorry it’s Chinese New Year we are not doing anything for months 🙁

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