Inspiration

With the global outbreak of the COVID-19, many schools are providing online video classes that can be deemed stressful and hard to focus on. Since education and technology are always evolving, we were inspired to develop a solution to support remote working in the form of studying using the depths of the human mind.

What it does

I Am Gonna Blur Your Mind is all about modernizing education by facilitating content retention on online videos and remote studying. The Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) project uses the "NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile 2" electroencephalogram (EEG) headset to collect brainwave data and apply video effects to the media in real-time. Our algorithm analyzes patterns in the decrease of attention and meditation by using thresholds to generate the appropriate video effect like a smooth blur or a kaleidoscope. By doing that, we can provide each individual with a custom personal experience to online learning and increase their focus and relaxation values.

How I built it

We built this project with a lot of dedication, caffeine, and patience. We used a modified version of the NeuroPy2 library to communicate with the EEG headset using Bluetooth on Python3. The headset is constantly streaming brain data to a dynamic file that is continuously accessed in our Python-Flask webserver. This data gets processed and parsed to the website on the go, allowing for the manipulation of the video and progress bars.

To apply the correct effects in a video, we experimented with many configurations of the seriously.js library to create a reasonable threshold value based on NeuroSky's definition of attention and relaxation levels.

The levels are the following:

  1. 1-20 = "Strongly lowered"
  2. 20-40 = "Reduced"
  3. 40-60 = "Neutral"
  4. 60-80 = "Slightly Elevated"
  5. 80-100 = "Elevated"

NeuroSky's User Guide

Benefits

Besides providing support to remote learning, our project helps students to increase and control their focus while using our technology. When the video is playing, the students' brainwaves will determine the best video filters to be applied to regain focus. When this happens, not only will the user's attention increase at a specific moment, but it will also help them control their attention in the future due to the use of reinforcement in our project.

Challenges I ran into

We had a diversity of challenges and difficulties throughout the project. Firstly, we were not able to sync the EEG headset with our computers, so we spent time looking for alternative and modified libraries to make the connection. Secondly, since the headset is continuously streaming data, we had to find a way to get that information to our server and website without resetting the video timer. The team ended up using Sijax to make Ajax requests in the JavaScript to our server and then modify the content of the progress bars and internal variables. If that wasn't enough, we had to scratch our heads on the conversion of data objects from Javascript to Python using JSON.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

I Am Gonna Blur Your Mind's team is proud of developing a technology that can be impactful in the education by using the depths of the human mind. We are completely blown away on how we were able to pass through every obstacle and make a cool app. We are very proud to be part of this project :)

What I learned

This project taught us the importance of patience, communication, perseverance, and resilience in the times we were facing difficulties. Besides that, we learned how to get streamed data input into an application properly and manipulating an EEG headset.

What's next for I Am Gonna Blur Your Mind

I Am Gonna Blur Your Mind's next step is to expand from the EEG headset to use the user's expressions and emotions to manipulate the video.

GitHub Link

https://github.com/Nate8888/IamGonnaBlurYourMind

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