Kokoon – The world’s first EEG headphone

29 06 2015

Kokoon headphones
 

This exciting project currently running on Kickstarter has raised over 1 million U.S. dollars already with 11 days still remaining to the point where well over 5000+ people are backing the prototype featured in the successful campaign.

Kokoon had an initial goal set at $100k which was easily surpassed.

The product itself is mainly aimed at helping you sleep by tailoring the audio accordingly whilst providing external noise cancelling and comfort. Smartphone technology is used to track and monitor your sleep via Bluetooth wireless.

An associated app can be used for lucid dreaming by way of an audio trigger on REM detection as well as relaxation, meditation, polyphasic and sleep learning programs.

 

About

The London based team of 11 are headed by Tim Antos and co-founder Richard Hall.

Dr Sue Wilson is the sleep scientist behind the project. Dr Alex Casson is responsible for the EEG research.

The main USP for this product is the patented moulded pillow headphone design which achieves comfort and stability when worn for long periods.

Air is also allowed to circulate freely to reduce sweat and moisture build up.

 

Main features and specifications

Bluetooth 4.0

HD audio.

ANC 20 dB cancellation. ( Passive reduction up to 12 dB more.)

Batt life (cont audio) 11 hours. Sleep mode 25 hours.

(Rechargeable Li-ion battery is now user replaceable.)

Audio jack (option.)

Built in mic for hands free.

Compact foldaway design for ease of travel.

 

EEG

Dry miniature electrode sensors.

Noise level: ~ 1 μV rms.

S/N ratio: ~ 400 mV/1 μV -> ~ 112 dB.

Open API for access to EEG signals.

 

App

Android, iOS. (Windows planned for later.)

Sleep and relaxation ‘insights’ algorithm.

Barcode display of deep, REM, light, awake states with total sleep times and score.

Uses include: binaural beats, sleep hacking, lucid dreaming, polyphasic sleep, learning and education.

‘Intelligent’ alarm.

Audio library bundle.

kokoon app
 

The main Bluetooth headphone which includes the EEG sensors, etc. is currently on offer for $189 (RRP $319) on Kickstarter.

The product will be also available in a ‘light’ version on offer at $159 (RRP $219) which does not have the EEG sensors, the sleep science or the app.

Both versions are estimated to ship worldwide in February 2016 after 10,000 hours of comfort, beta and user testing.

EEG screenshot
 

The Kokoon team did reveal more information when asked about the EEG, the sensors themselves and the noise floor figure during actual EEG measurement.

It turns out the “sensors are ‘through hair’ sensors [sic] can read through hair that is 5 mm high when compressed and can also contact the skin”. (Creator Tim – source Kickstarter comments, June 16th 2015, in response to Joe G.)

The actual sensors are placed on top of the head and near the ear.
 

Other backers raised concerns about Bluetooth safety and the lack of feedback from Onkyo who will provide the headphone transducer.

It was also a tech savvy backer who bleated that the credit for being the world’s first EEG integrated headphone belonged to the ‘Sleep Shepherd.’

Baa!

One major drawback to consider is that whilst the cheaper Kokoon light is a standalone device with more limited features, the Bluetooth EEG version relies on a smartphone for many of the functions which are an extra expense incurred to the end user.

 

(All photos courtesy of Kokoon Tech.)

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