Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Interview with Tre Azam, Myndplay: Innovators in Education Technology Series

Using technology that measures your brainwaves to learn how to train more effectively for sports and to deal with stress (PTSD, performance anxiety, etc.) is becoming more affordable, easy-to-use, and accessible. Welcome to an interview with Tre Azam, founder and CEO of MyndPlay, a BrainWave training and entertainment platform.

1. What is your name and your relationship to technology, including assistive technologies?
My Name is Tre Azam, I am founder and CEO of MyndPlay which is a BrainWave training and entertainment platform that allows users to control video media using their mind, this also allows for constant neurofeedback during online training videos which can then be used for remote therapy and monitoring as well as personal emotional management development.

2.  What is EEG Brainwave Technology? 

EEG I stands for Electro Encephalograph it is used in hospitals all over the world to monitor brainwave activity, it works by measuring the electrical impulses in your brain. By measuring the impulses we canget an insight into what the emotional state of the user is, this is done by analysing the brainwave patterns .

3.  How can you measure brainwaves to learn how to control your mental state and to improve your focus?

In 2004 a company called NeuroSky innovated within this field by creating algorithms for particular states the 2 main states identified were mental concentration (focus) or mental meditation (relaxed), these were then divided up into a scale of 1-100. By providing the user with a meter to get visual feedback means an insight like never before into our mind, we then use the applications to incentivise development of those functions by controlling the stimuli and training the response.

4. What are some of the advantages of being able to use brainwave technology?

by using brainwave technology you gain insight and knowledge into how your mind works and what affects it most, for sporting peak performance it has been used for decades with expensive lab equipment to try and identify weaknesses in emotion or a personal individual triggers, brainwave technology takes out the guess work.

5. How are you using MyndPlay to help individuals with PTSD? 

MyndPlay began with the idea of providing a platform to help manage psychological and emotional problems without the need for ongoing therapy and expensive sessions, therapy is at the heart of what we do.

Tre is also a therapist in the field of trauma and has always looked for ways to integrate great training methods that can be combined with neurofeedback to provide personalised remote therapy for sufferers of all emotional turmoils.

On the myndplay app store we have a growing list of treatments for a range of problems including PTSD.

6.  Sports performance? 

the US Olympic archery team were amongst the first to work with our partners neurosky to find a cheaper alternative to expensive lab setups, building on that platform MyndPlay has since created a range of apps and training tools for sports caches and athletes to train themselves to manage their emotional in order to allow them to perform at their best. With athletes it is a matter of training both focus and calm as it is imperative for top level success to have both, a state often referred to as the zone.

for sports one of the limiting factors has been location, it is hard to carry a lab around with you.  With MyndPlay Pro coaches and atheletes can record their brainwaves directly onto their phones and then transmit that information to a desktop where it can be analysed.

7.   How might MyndPlay programs be used with elearning (including digital textbooks)?

for elearning the ways it can be used are many, it can be a tool for measuring a persons level of interest and appropriate the work based on that, or it can be a tool that forces the user to remain in the correct “learning” state in order to allow them to keep learning. We are working on a few academic tools with schools in the UK.

8.  Do you have links to demos or white papers?

there are quite a few whitepapers on how the neurosky chipset and the headsets have been used for different things, I will try to dig some out and send to you.

we have a number of videos on ours and our partner NeuroSky youtube pages.

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