This noggin-reading gadget plays songs based on your brain waves

We have seen apps and features that let you play songs based on your mood. But often, mood-based songs played through these apps and what you’re actually feeling, don’t match. That makes me wish for a device that could read my brain and play music.

Well, brain-reading company Neurosity has released a new device that matches that description. The gadget, called the Crown, is a successor to the firm’s device Notion, which was released the last year.

The Crown ships with the Neurosity music shift app that works with your Spotify premium account to track your brain activity while you listen to songs. Based on how your brain reacts to a song, the app will automatically suggest more songs. These song recommendations will change according to the activity you choose; for instance focus, work, or chill.

Neurosity also has a dedicated portal to show you readings from a Spotify session. It essentially displays brain readings to indicate at what moments you lost your focus. The device takes multiple readings per minute. So if you listen for an hour-long session, and only lose focus a few times, that means you’ve been very productive.

Neurosity Crown

This is not the first time we’ve seen an EEG-reading headset try to recommend music. In January 2018, Imec showed off its solution at the Consumer Electronics Show. It was never made available to the consumer, though.

The new device’s form factor is similar to the Notion. But it has better flexible rubber sensors to get EEG (electroencephalogram) readings — that’s your brain’s electrical activity. These sensors cover all four lobes of the brain to gather accurate readings.

The Crown also has a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU to process all data. You can use it for three hours straight on a single charge. And it recharges fully in 30 minutes through a customer charging rig. Plus, Neurosity has included an NFC chip, so you could pair the device just with a tap.

The company doesn’t want you to get a device just with the music app. It has a custom Linux-based operating system running on this along with an SDK that lets developers create new applications to utilize the Crown.

In a call with TNW, the startup’s co-founder, Alex Castillo, said that it plans to create an app store to easily download apps to use the Crown in multiple ways. He added that companies like Drowzee are already building new solutions to reduce insomnia by using the data from the device. 

Castillio said that in current form, the device helps you become 3% more focused and productive over a session:

While 3% might not seem a lot, imagine how much time you could save by being that much more productive in a year. Plus, our upcoming mobile app and desktop notification blocking features will just add to that number.

The Crown is available for pre-order starting today, and it’ll ship in May for a retail price of $899. While the price might seem high for a brain-reading device just to play music, the company is confident that developers and creators will recognize its additional value.

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Published March 16, 2021 — 11:01 UTC

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