Blog

2022 NYC Neuroergonomics and Neuromodulation Conference

“If I hadn’t had OpenBCI equipment to get started I wouldn’t be here.”
 
Hearing that from researchers at the forefront of neuroscience during the NYC Neuromodulation conference made my day.
 
Neurotechnology, although growing fast in recent years, is still a niche field. I spend my days working on products that no one has built before and that push the boundaries of what’s possible today. The innovative nature of the work brings with it many challenges, which often make me want to bang my head against the wall!
 
Knowing that we’re making a real impact by giving individuals around the world access to affordable neuroscience tools so they can, too, push these boundaries makes it all worth it.
 
Here are a few pictures from the event, including a picture of #galeainthewild on an NYC subway train and one embracing my inner nerd.


Eva’s Marathon For Heart Arrhythmia

This post is a little different than my usual ones about tech…

Last year, I got diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia. This diagnosis was challenging for me, both physically and mentally. For the first couple of months, I was terrified of ‘dropping dead’ for lack of a better expression. I had to stop exercising and became fearful of anything that increased my heart rate. 

Fortunately, after multiple tests, my cardiologist found my heart was strong and reassured me that I could get back to a moderate exercise routine. Once I pushed through the initial fear, I realized that running helps me to manage my symptoms, and I started to run longer distances. Earlier this year, I ran my first ever half marathon. It was amazing!

My goal for 2022 is to complete a full marathon. My cardiologist said she doesn’t recommend that I run several but greenlighted me for one, so I signed up for the 2022 Philadelphia Marathon on November 20th. 

I want to make the most out of my opportunity to run this race by using it as a chance to contribute to the development of treatments against arrhythmia and other cardiac conditions. For that, I want to raise $2k for the American Heart Association. Any amount, no matter how little, will help to fund their research and improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.  

The full story and link to donate can be found on my GoFundMe page below.

https://www.gofundme.com/evas-marathon-for-heart-arrhythmia

Two Years at OpenBCI!

Two years ago I dipped my toes into brain-computer interface (BCI) technology by hacking a $30 Star Wars toy to read EEG data and make a cardboard wheel spin by concentrating on it. My team and I first showcased the prototype at the 2019 Cornell Tech Open Studio event. Although I understood the science behind it, putting the device on users’ heads and watching the wheel spin felt like magic!

Fast forward to today and my code is running on Galea, a $25K high-end platform that merges next-generation BCI systems with head-mounted displays. This work anniversary I’d like to reflect on how far I’ve come since I joined the OpenBCI team as an intern on July 1st, 2020. During my time with them, I have not only contributed to the whole technology stack—hardware, firmware, software, data processing, cloud—but I’ve acquired a solid foundation of knowledge in neuroscience and learnt key aspects of running a hardware business.

Most importantly, I’ve found my people. The OpenBCI team dreams big and works hard to build products that push the boundaries of what’s possible today. Together, we are shaping the future of human-computer interaction. I can’t wait to see what year three brings for us—let’s keep changing the world one BCI at a time!

International Women in Engineering Day

“If you don’t ask, you don’t get” is what my first manager, Christina Kalli, told me as I proceeded to make a case to our UK team at GE Healthcare on why I should be the first intern to travel abroad and present my research at the 2018 Alzheimer’s Association Conference in Chicago. It was at that conference that I learnt about neurotechnology and discovered my passion for the field.

For this year’s International Women in Engineering Day, I’d like to thank you for the support and guidance you’ve given me over the years. You took me under your wing during my first internship in 2017. That year, I learnt C#, Unreal Engine, Python and other technologies, but my most valuable takeaway was cultivating the habit to ask for opportunities even when I think the answer will be no. Often times, I find myself pleasantly surprised by a yes. And occasionally it changes my life, like that trip did.

Winning an Auggie Award!

I had a blast at AWE 2022 this week! It was exciting to showcase Galea and an honor for us at OpenBCI to receive the “Best Interaction Product” award. Congratulations to the Varjo team on winning the “Best Headworn Device” award.

I loved learning about the latest products in the AR/VR industry. From TRIPP, Inc.‘s VR meditation experiences to OWO Game‘s haptic videogame technology, the fast evolution of this industry blows my mind every time.

I’m excited to keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible today and share it with all of you at #AWE2023!

Speaking at the VRAR Association Education Committee

It was a pleasure to speak at the VRARA Education Committee session about the Future of VR, Neuroscience and Spatial Computing! I especially enjoyed hearing about the different applications the audience was interested in using Galea for.

Special thanks to Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández for inviting me as a speaker and organizing the event. The work this organization is doing to develop immersive technologies and make them accessible is admirable.

For those of you who couldn’t attend, I’ll share the recording when it comes out. Looking forward to the next one!

VR & BCIs SMARTVR Talk

It was great to speak at the SMARTVR Center event on the future of virtual reality and brain-computer interface technologies!

This was my first event as a speaker for OpenBCI. I enjoyed listening to the other attendees, talking about our latest work in the field, and answering the public’s questions with Mike Ambinder from Valve Corporation.

I look forward to many more events like this one!

One Year at OpenBCI!

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started working at OpenBCI!

Six years ago, I had to choose between pursuing engineering or psychology as a career path. While taking classes as an engineering student, I couldn’t help but devour psychology books in my free time. I fell in love with building intelligent systems that mimic the way our brain processes information, but how can we do that if we are just beginning to understand this incredibly complex organ that makes us who we are! 

I finally found my place at the intersection of psychology and engineering, leading the neuro revolution with the incredible team at OpenBCI.

Turning Science Fiction Into Science

One of the first things that caught my eye about OpenBCI was their motto: Turning Science Fiction into Science.

As a kid, I wanted to be a magician, and I spent countless hours perfecting my tricks. I dreamt of creating experiences to make people feel like they were in a world where anything was possible. The joy people experience when they watch a trick only magic can explain for them is priceless to me. Of course, as the one performing the trick, you know it’s all based on logic and science.

As I grew up, I found myself having less time to learn tricks, and letting go of my dream to be a magician. I became interested in technology and pursued an engineering degree. When I first learnt about Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) and started building devices with them, such as NeuroSpin, I could see the same joy in people’s faces as when they watched my magic tricks as a kid. “Are you really moving that with your brain? Is this magic?”, they’d ask.

Right now, biosensing technology allows us to move objects with our mind, track our concentration and relaxation through brainwave analysis, spell messages with our eyes, and many other crazy things. However, we’re yet to merge all these powerful tools into a fully-immersive experience where you have endless possibilities. This is where Galea comes in.

Earlier this year, at OpenBCI, we announced our latest product: Galea. Galea is a hardware and software platform that merges next-generation biometrics with mixed reality. It’s the first device that integrates EEG, EMG, EDA, PPG, and eye-tracking into a single headset. The Galea hardware will be integrated into existing AR and VR head-mounted displays and will include SDKs for bringing rich and tightly time-locked biometric data into 3D development engines, 3rd-party applications, and all common programming languages. 

Galea opens up a world of possibilities for researchers, developers, and creators to understand and augment the human mind and body. Even though I haven’t become a magician in the traditional way, being part of the team behind Galea has allowed me to pursue my dream of creating experiences where anything is possible. It’s science, but it feels like magic.

To learn more about how to get your hands on a Galea unit, visit galea.co!