There was a different focus at ESCoNS today as emerging technologies took to the stage. A variety of panels explored new developments in “inputs” and “outputs” that are showing promise in being able to integrate whole new realms of data into neurogaming and eMental Health. “Inputs” refer to devices and/or systems that are able to capture information about the user or the environment, while “outputs” are devices and/or systems that provide feedback from the game or therapeutic to the user.
Many of these products were on display for the attendees, and I was able to play around with several of them. I was impressed with the overall ease of use of many of them, particularly in the realm of mindfulness training. Several mobile EEG devices are – or about to be – on the market, and each was able to give real-time feedback to me as I tried to attain a state of calm and relaxation (they told me I was pretty good at it). However, it still felt like many devices weren’t much more than gadgets or toys at this point, and it was difficult to imagine what uses they could serve in routine use by consumers at home, at least in comparison to cheaper alternatives that are already available. Controlling a drag racer with my mind was cool, but not really addressing any issues that I have in my day-to-day life. Having said that, ESCoNS is not so much about what can be done today, but about combining good science with state-of-the-art technology in order to create better therapeutics for tomorrow. I and PsyberGuide are thrilled by the amount of innovation and creativity that has gone into the emerging field of neurowearables, and we eagerly anticipate their launch into the mainstream.