The idea to use a smart phone without using our hands and just with the brain comes as we want to help the patients with disabilities. We decided to give brainwave (alpha wave) a try. We formed a group of three and started our project.
The patients we actually want to help are called the Mucopolysaccharidoses (in short form MPS), this disease is caused by the excessive amount of sugar in their body. It makes their muscle and body structure unable to move normally. They have symptoms like enlarged joint, or curved arms and stiff fingers.
We visited their family on the International Rare Disease Day organized by the HKMPS in Hong Kong and asked about the specific needs of the patients. We found out that there is really limited resources and products that can actually help them. They told us it would be good if the patient can do basic tasks, so as to boost their confidence as well as to reduce the burden of their parents.
What is our project?
We decided to use brainwave, as it doesn’t involve any uses of hands. We use Processing software and OpenBCI board to detect the alpha wave, and follow some of its tutorials. Then, we successfully use the brainwaves to enter numbers into the phone.
We make an app in the Android phone, called Brain call, to enable the patient to control the smart phone. We developed the functions one by one. At first, we are able to make phone calls using the app. Later on, the app can be controlled to listen to music, listening to radio, as well as to switch on and off the light device connected, by simply using brainwave.
What the patients need is only the software and hardware provided by the OpenBCI official site, as well as a smart phone. The whole process does not involve any use of body.
Here is the examples of interface of the app
|Connect to Hong Kong radio||Listening to Music||Phone call|
Finally, developing the project for 7 months, we decided to give it a try. We gave the set of device to the patient and let them use it. It worked perfectly that their parents were so delighted. We hope to continue our project and enable the patients to do more tasks.