Everything you need to know about our EEG electrodes

June 1, 2020

More than just a headphone, enophone offers something unique: EEG neurotechnology. 

As with any new technology, there are questions that need answering. This post seeks to answer the basics: what is EEG or neurotechnology, how does it work, and what does it mean for me. 

What are those pins in the headphone? 

The pins you see are EEG electrodes: a sensor that lets enophone measure the electrical activity from your brain. 

Electroencephalography – EEG for short – is a technology frequently used in hospitals and labs to measure and describe brain activity. Alongside MRI and PET, EEG is one of the go-to technologies experts use to understand and measure the brain. 

EEG works by measuring the electrical potential generated by the brain. When groups of neurons (millions and millions) fire together, they produce an electrical wave that can be measured with sensitive electrodes. Using EEG electrodes and sensitive electronics, these waves can be measured at different locations on the head. 

Enophone uses 4 EEG sensors: 2 in the upper band, and 2 in the earcups. These sensors measure the brain activity over the front-parietal lobe, a region that’s involved in sustained attention. Using machine learning algorithms, we can measure how focused you are from these brain waves. Just like how most fitness bands use heart rate sensors to track your activity level, enophone uses EEG sensors to track your focus level! 

Is it safe? 

Absolutely yes. EEG technology is 100% safe to use. 

This is because the electrodes are not affecting your brain in any way. No electricity, light, or radiation is sent through the electrodes – enophone is not a brain stimulation device. Instead, EEG electrodes simply measure the electrical current that your brain naturally produces. It’s like a voltmeter – perfectly safe to use. 

Furthermore, since brainwaves are very low amplitude, the electronics in enophone operate at very low power. In fact, the sensors in enophone consume lesser energy than the Bluetooth, or the speakers! All of the electronics are placed far away from the user’s head, and undergo rigorous certification testing through several international boards. As a result, we can say proudly that enophone is just as safe as any other headphone.

Is it comfortable? 

We get this one a lot – and the answer is yes! 

The electrode pins you see in the upper band of enophone are spring-loaded, and retract into the headband when you wear it. When the headphones are in use, the weight of the pins on your head is very low – less than half the weight of a typical watch. And because the pins retract completely into the band, there’s no risk of the sensors impacting your head. 

The pins themselves are made of medical-grade gold-plated copper. They are machined to be perfectly smooth and rounded to ensure a comfortable contact. We tested dozens of shapes and sizes, to make sure that they’re comfortable to wear all day. You can rest assured – I’m wearing them as I write this, and will continue for hours!

Why do I want to measure my brain?

We set out to build enophone with a single goal: to build the perfect work headphones. 

First, this started with the basics. Fantastic HiFi audio. An comfortable design you can wear all day. Wireless Bluetooth connectivity so you can work unconstrained. Several high-quality microphones for crystal clear calls. And active noise cancelling to block out distractions. 

But more than that, we wanted to help you improve your productivity – and if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. enophone solves that problem: using EEG sensors, we allow you to measure your focus level, so that you can better understand how your attention affects your work. 

With enowork and enosound, we go a step further and give you the tools to take control of your focus. enowork offers productivity insights, and coaches you to build a habit that prioritizes deep work. enosound uses AI-generated music to get you in the zone, and trains your brain through sustained attention training – a technology shown to improve focus by 75% over 6 months. 

More than just a headphone, enophone offers something unique: EEG neurotechnology. Together these tools give you the ability to take control of your mind, and focus on what matters to you. 

Comments

  • Productivity Junkie

    This is super clear! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
  • Ricardo

    Im very interested, however i will not buy it until you show that all your backers get their own and found independent oppinions about your product online

    Reply
  • Tech Master

    This looks amazing! Will definitely try this product.

    Reply
  • Vitalik

    I feel the same as Ricardo. Su per interested but I will not but until you deliver to backers.

    Reply
  • Fux

    “These sensors measure the brain activity over the front-parietal lobe, a region that’s involved in sustained attention. Using machine learning algorithms, we can measure how focused you are from these brain waves.” So much bad science and wishful thinking in those two sentences alone don’t even know where to start. Yes of course fronto-parietal areas are involved in sustained attention amongst a plethora of other cognitive functions.. And seeing the placement of the electrodes you’re mostly going to measure sensorimotor activity (if your electrodes are even sensitive enough and your
    DSP good enough to record anything else but noise..). Focus is a complete red herring and there is no definition of it outside a very specific context. Now saying you can measure how focused someone is based on their brain waves is complete nonsense regardless of the quality of your ML. There are tons of lab and companies with orders of magnitude more resources than you working on this and nobody is even close to achieving what you claim. At least they have the decency to recognize the complexity of the problem and not make outlandish claims that amount to blatant false advertisement. Good luck!

    Reply
    • Jacob (eno)

      Hey there! I definitely agree that the description given is an oversimplification of the process – indeed, the researchers we work with don’t use the word “focus”, since this isn’t defined in the literature. We’ve found, as have many others, that a combination of cognitive workload, sustained attention, motivation, fatigue, and mind wandering give an accurate portrayal of the subjective sense of being focused. Each of these is measurable at C3/C4, where our electrodes are located. While noise is always an issue, we’ve found a combination of filtering, denoising algorithms, repeated sampling, and several other strategies to deliver results that compare to the literature.

      The description we gave in this post is simply the easiest way we’ve found to describe what we do to those unfamiliar with the nuances of EEG – I apologize if it came across as oversimplifying the complexity of this technology. If you want more information, feel free to follow up with the rest of the resources we’ve shared across our platform!

      Reply
  • Fux

    “we have found, as have many others..”, “each of these is measurable at C3/C4.” show me one study where they were able to measure such complex cognitive processes with 2 EEG electrodes. I’m sorry to say that this is no mere oversimplification, those are just blatant lies. We’ve reach Trump level but whatever you need to do to get sales amirite?
    The one thing I’ll give you kudos for is not simply deleting my comment but actually replying, shows at least some level of integrity 😉

    Reply
    • jacob flood

      We’re working with several labs that have been able to do this in clinical settings for years – It’s not as innovative as you’re claiming. Most labs could not get grant funding for publishing such a simple experiment.

      We have several papers demonstrating this internally, but unfortunately for IP reasons we can’t currently make these public.

      Reply
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