Innovation That Matters

Pavlovian headphones help cancel out the distractions of the modern world

Work & Lifestyle

In Canada, entrepreneurs have created a set of headphones that monitors brain activity and trains wearers to concentrate.

Our world today is full of technology, and as a consequence we are constantly bombarded with notifications, clickbait and alerts vying for our attention. It has never been a more difficult time to focus on work and avoid distraction. A while back, we wrote about this smart keyboard that that uses LEDs to enable users to silently gather and track the information they want to follow. Now, The Mindset is a device that boosts the wearer’s focus.

Entrepreneurs from Montreal have created a set of wireless, noise-cancelling headphones designed to increase users’ mental fortitude. The headphones contain five electroencephalography sensors, which measure the electrical activity in the wearer’s brain as they listen to music and relay this to the accompanying app. The app allows users to “start a work session”. When the sensors detect the listener has been distracted, they play a tone as a reminder to refocus. The idea is that over time, the act of noticing when a distracted occurs will rewire the brain to become distracted less easily. The app also provides visualizations of how hard users concentrate at certain times of day, giving information on the best time to take breaks or when to focus on the most challenging work.

Currently funding on Kickstarter, the device has already hit its USD 100,000 funding goal. Could this Pavlovian use of technology be applied to other areas of our life?




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