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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!

Why I’m Working on Unipeers.org

Living in Spain made applying to study in the UK and later in the US challenging for me. Not having anyone to ask at my dream schools or the cities I wanted to move to made me feel lost, overwhelmed and discouraged.

I’m grateful for persevering and getting through the process, but also aware there were times when I almost returned home. In an effort to prevent this from happening to others, Katie Donahoe and I are creating Unipeers.

What’s Unipeers? Learn all about it in my Medium article!

Image Source: Vectorpocket.

Starting my Journey with OpenBCI

Excited to start my journey with OpenBCI today as a Computer Engineering Intern!

OpenBCI is an open source neurotechnology company with the mission to accelerate the ethical innovation of human-computer interface technologies. From the moment I discovered the neurotech field I knew I wanted to work for a company with such a powerful mission and community.

Glad to get the opportunity to make an impact in a field offering endless opportunities for innovation!

What Grad School Taught Me

At the time of choosing my graduate school I was an undergraduate student in the UK, where I’d moved from my home country Spain. During my years as an engineering student, my friends and I often thought of products we could build to solve some of the existing problems in society. We’d start building the product but had no idea how to start getting it out there or if people were even interested in it, which led us to giving up.

I often watched videos and read books about engineers turned entrepreneurs. I remember staying up one night watching techie videos and one of a startup born at Cornell Tech came up. I watched it and immediately felt inspired. As I read more about their engineering program I thought to myself ‘this feels just right, I have to give it a shot!’. I soon found out the deadline for applying was the next day. I stayed up all night putting together the best cover letter and scholarship application I could. As soon as I sent them, I fell asleep, feeling exhausted but hopeful.

Click here to read the full story!

Star Quest Website is Up!

The Star Quest website is up now! Sign up to learn more about this awesome gamified goal tracker for kids, and send us an email if you have any questions or suggestions for the product!

Click here to visit the Star Quest website, and follows us on Instagram and Twitter at @starquestapp!

Lesson #3: Learn About Your Audience Before They Learn From You

Pitching a product is easy — pitching one that people remember is difficult. Think about the last presentation that struck a cord with you. Why did it?

Personally, I remember a talk on the importance of creating a community around your product.

As an engineer my work revolves around algorithms, but in my free time I enjoy reading about social psychology and how communities interact. For years I believed these books’ knowledge would stay in my memory under “curiosities”, rather than help me with my “engineering work”. But this talk made me realize…

Click here to read the full article!

Lesson #2: Fail Fast – Cliché but True

Who hasn’t heard the phrase “fail fast” in the start-up environment? I know I have. I must say, however, that today is the day I finally understood its meaning.

At wēbē, we are working on creating a product to help parents better understand their children’s emotional and mental health. Our initial idea was to create a toy that interacts with children aged 3–8 and collects data on their emotional state, which the parents can then visualize on their phone to identify concerning trends. With this idea in mind, we set out to interview children therapists, mental health experts, and parents.

Continue reading this article on here!

Lesson #1: Interview First, Engineer Later

As an engineer, I have a natural tendency to focus on product features — I want to use the latest technology to build the coolest gadgets. However, a couple months into my entrepreneurship journey a hard truth hit me: no matter how amazing the technology is, if it doesn’t serve a purpose, it may as well be a potato (sorry potatoes).

Want to know why? Click here to keep reading!

Photo Source: Great British Chefts

Introducing wēbē!

Mental health disorders have been surrounded by stigma for years, even though 1 in 5 US adults will suffer from a mental health condition during their lifetime. Several factors, including this stigma, contribute to the fact that the average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years. Those are staggering statistics, considering how much progress we have made regarding physical health in the past few years. As someone who has witnessed the devastating effects a mental health disorder can have on a friend or loved one’s life, I began asking myself: “What can I, as an individual, do to lower these numbers?”

To find out, click here!