Brain blood flow biofeedback meets affordable IoT technology

Sep 24, 2019

Project update 2 of 10

State of the Code

Hey everyone! Thank you all so much for the support, encouragement, and collaboration! As of me writing this, we are 52% closer to moving a big dream forward! This project has been more than a year in the making and is riding on the heels of a long legacy of science and engineering, making this open platform possible. In this update we’ll give you a quick run-down of the hardware functionality in its current state and what’s coming in the future.

Arduino IDE Code

Everything in the current code is built on the Arduino IDE and written in plain English to be as easy to learn as possible. Things are getting more organized as we become more feature-complete, and at this point we can support Wi-Fi, BLE, and Serial interactivity for the HEG. The ESP32 libraries are excellently curated and we haven’t had to develop more complex solutions in Espressif’s C IDF. The support crowd on Github has been amazing and the documentation when counting issue pages on Github is extensive, making this a perfect entry point for IoT novices.

Starting Up HEGduino

When you plug in your HEGduino, you will get a new Wi-Fi access point. You can log into this on any device with a browser by typing in the local address, and voila - you have a web app hosted on an asynchronous web server with a full HTML/JS/CSS suite and the ability to handle multiple clients. The HEGduino can then be logged into your router, enabling more functionality like remote access, web based software package (e.g. React) and database integration (e.g. Firebase or AWS), be updated without a developer environment, and more. We are building in full offline interactivity using vanilla JS and Canvas, as well as online-only applets to demonstrate the platform’s versatility.

This is a quickly made Canvas demo, it’s just a red circle that grows or shrinks based on whether the returned light ratio is increasing or decreasing, which is correlated with increasing or decreasing oxygenation content (since more oxygenated blood = more red light reflected and vise versa). All of our base software features are working and functioning now, and are in an alpha state. The hardware is working great, and all of the testing we’re doing now ensures what we deliver will be in the best shape possible for launch so you all can jump right into the fun without any of the hassle.

We also hacked together the HEG with an old free software called HEGstudio, by Jonathan Toomim. We are reproducing these functionalities through the web app and much more.

State Changer Collaboration

One of our new team members, Diego Schmaedech, who is working primarily on the State Changer project (a clinical grade, FDA-approved HEG coming soon) has also provided compatibility for their software, including extensive charting abilities and a growing number of games. His master’s is in Computer Vision and he’s worked with Neurosky and on HRV applications, including computer vision-based pulse analysis using only a video of your wrist. Our collaboration with the State Changer team in Brazil means a lot of software will be playable by the launch of the kits, tailor-made for HEG-based brain exercise. We’ve been advised by many original developers on HEG and other biofeedback hardware, and we are collecting some of the best minds around to be able to really put this tech into action on a scale not seen for it yet. We’ll have more to show next week!

We are incredibly excited for the chance to bring something new, useful, and accessible to the public sphere. The platform we’ve built can easily abstract to other use-cases, too, with the goal of integrating many types of sensors to make this a full biofeedback platform. We also will be exploring other fields later, too, so stay tuned and get involved!

That’s me laying in a big pile of Hericium Coralloides! They’re good for your brain health too! I forage mushrooms up in Alaska seasonally and help run a foraging co-op, we like to explore as many frontiers in science as we can find!


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