EmoconLite: Bridging the Gap Between Emotiv and Play for Children With Severe Disabilities

by   Javad Rahimipour Anaraki, et al.

Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) allow users to control computer applications by modulating their brain activity. Since BCIs rely solely on brain activity, they have a lot of potential as an alternative access method for engaging children with severe disabilities and/or medical complexities in Therapeutic Recreation and leisure. In particular, one commercially available BCI platform is the Emotiv EPOC headset, which is a portable and affordable electroencephalography (EEG) device. Combined with the EmotivBCI software, the Emotiv system can generate a model to discern between different mental tasks based on the user's EEG signals in real-time. While the Emotiv system shows promise for use by the pediatric population in the setting of a BCI clinic, it lacks integrated support that allows users to directly control computer applications using the generated classification output. To achieve this, users would have to create their own program, which can be challenging for those who may not be technologically inclined. To address this gap, we present a free and user-friendly BCI software application called EmoconLite. Using the classification output from EmotivBCI, EmoconLite allows users to play YouTube video clips and a variety of video games from multiple platforms, ultimately creating an end-to-end solution for users. With its use in the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital's BCI clinic, EmoconLite will bridge the gap between research and clinical practice, providing children with access to BCI technology and supporting BCI-enabled play.


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