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September Newsletter

Hello OpenBCI Community!

We hope you’ve been enjoying the warm Summer weather! As the season comes to an end, we want to update you on the latest news concerning OpenBCI. We have been working all Summer in some cool projects we wish to share with you! In addition, we made great developments in the design of both the Ganglion and the Mark IV. Due to the many things that came our way this Summer we have to delay the release date of the Ganglion and the Mark IV until November. You can read more about this below.

  1. Mark IV and Ganglion Release date
  2. Back to School Sale
  3. General Survey Link
  4. Ganglion Update
  5. Mark IV Update
  6. GUI V2 Update
  7. Freethink OpenBCI Episode
  8. IEEE Hackathon
  9. Summer Internship Recap and Highlights
  10. Web Developer Wanted

1. Mark IV and Ganglion Release date

We have some good news and some bad news. Good news first: the Mark IV has some new cool features and the assembly is less difficult than our previous models. We are really excited to share this with you, more details below.

As for the bad news… We ran into some issues with the development of the Ganglion and we are now looking at an November release date. In addition, the manufacturing process for the Mark IV will take longer than expected, therefore we have moved the delivery date to November as well. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. Please be sure to know that we are doing everything we can to ensure the delivery of a product that works well and has all of the functionalities advertised.

2. Back to School Pre-Order Sale

Between now and next Friday (9/23) at midnight, we are offering a special back to school discount of 10% off of all of our pre-order items:

Use the following discount code at checkout:  BACK2SKOOL 

3. General Survey Link

We hope that your experience with OpenBCI has been awesome! We are constantly trying to improve the OpenBCI platform. For this reason we ask that you give us 5 minutes of your time, and complete our latest survey.

Your feedback is extremely valuable for us! Your answers will be anonymous and we will post the answers to selected questions in our next newsletter.

4. Ganglion Update

Updated Delivery Date: November 2016

The shipping date of the Ganglion Board has been moved from August to November. We know that you have been eagerly awaiting for the Ganglion and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we deliver a product we are proud of.

The reason we moved the release date is because we ran into some issues with the Bluetooth radio protocol. We had to reduce the Ganglion sample rate to 200Hz in order to ensure consistent transmission and data integrity. The hardware design is 99% complete and we are working with our manufacturing house to get production prototypes produced as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected].

Latest Ganglion Board

5. Mark IV Update

The Mark IV is coming along nicely! We now have the first fully-functional Mark IV prototype. We’ve tested it and the data looks great. The assembly process is significantly easier than that of the Mark III. In addition, the new injection molded mechanical parts look and feel fantastic! We are now finalizing the OpenBCI board holder design. Production of the frames has already been initiated and we expect to begin assembly and kitting headsets in October. See the images below for photos of the injection molded parts and the first fully-assemble Mark IV.

Thank you for your patience. We think you will be pleased with the quality of our latest hardware!

Mark IV parts!

6. OpenBCI GUI V2

We have implemented a number of new network protocols for streaming OpenBCI data in real-time to other software and applications, including: LabStreamingLayer (LSL), UDP, and OSC. Additionally, we have implemented an “auto-connect” feature that will search through your Serial/COM list, finding your OpenBCI board and connecting to it automatically. On top of that, you now have the ability to change the radio channel of your board and dongle via the OpenBCI GUI. No more channel collisions at hackathons or meetups!

We are currently working on allowing for Biosemi Data Format (BDF) to be exported from the OpenBCI GUI, as well as a fresh GUI layout to allow for new widgets to be easily added to the GUI over time. Existing widgets include the data montage, the head plot, the FFT plot, an accelerometer vizualizer, an EMG trigger and output widget, and a blank “playground” widget—to be used as a template. More to come!


7. Freethink OpenBCI Episode

We are delighted to share the latest ‪SuperHuman‬ episode by Freethink, featuring OpenBCI! “Open Sourcing the Brain


8. IEEE Brain Hackathon Series

We are excited to announce that IEEE Brain is sponsoring three BCI hackathons in San Diego, Philadelphia, and Budapest. We have loaned tech OpenBCI tech for all three events. The first hackathon took place last weekend in San Diego! Conor will be joining the Budapest hackathon in early October. If you’re able to attend, we highly recommend you join in the fun!


For information on other upcoming BCI-related conferences and meetups, check out the latest NeuroTechNews “Upcoming Events in NeuroTechnology” writeup.

9. Summer Internship Recap

Our Summer internship program ended with great success! A lot of cool ideas and projects came out of the program. We are really proud of our interns for all the hard work and awesomeness they put into their projects. Below are some highlights.

OpenBCI + Open Bionics  

We collaborated with Open Bionics to use EEG artifacts to control the movement of a 3D printed robotic hand. In addition we used the recorded muscle activity from one of our interns to mimic the movement of the hand. A shout out to Colin for spearheading this awesome project. You can read more about it here.

EMG Face Mask

EMG Face Mask for Emotion Recognition: Our brilliant intern, Niyathi, along with the folks atThree Form Fashion, worked on designing a functional EMG face mask. What started as a simple way to recognize emotions using OpenBCI, translated into the development of a innovative way to detect the muscle activity of one’s face. This mask can have multiple applications like recognizing and localizing muscle movements/patterns/spasms for medical uses and other cool things.

Motor Area Experiments  

One of the goals of BCI is to improve the autonomy of people with severe motor disabilities. To achieve this we need to understand what goes on in the brain in order to initiate a movement in a healthy person. Irene, our talented intern, developed different training sessions for motor imagery, motor imagery versus motor execution, and finger tapping experiments to try to understand what electrical activity is generated in the brain when a person moves.

OpenBCI + Flappy Bird  



Did you ever wished to play Flappy Bird literally flapping your hands like a bird? Well … your wish has now come true! Thanks to a project lead by our intern, Wangshu, you can now use EMG to detect the contraction of your biceps and control the Flappy Bird game!

Mind controlled Minions 

Minions are impulsive creatures with little self-control. No wonder it was easy for us to hack our way into the Minion’s mind. All we needed was our OpenBCI Ultracortex headset, an Arduino board, and a few lines of code.

OpenBCI Motorcycle helmet to control your music 

Who doesn’t want to listen to music while on the road? However, it is extremely dangerous to look at your phone while driving a motorcycle. Colin, was able to customize a motorcycle helmetwith electrodes and a Raspberry Pi board, so that he could play, stop, and skip songs using his brain waves.

OpenBCI Lab Streaming Layer (LSL) – From Python to Matlab 

For everyone that uses MATLAB, Gabe made it possible for you to stream your data directly into MATLAB, without you having to use Processing beforehand.

9. Web Developer Wanted

OpenBCI is looking for an experienced Web Developer to help with the maintenance and design of the OpenBCI website. If you have a keen eye for design and a passion for clean, orderly code, then this is the position for you. All applicants must apply with a link to their Github account or relevant code examples to be considered for the position. This is a part-time, paid by the hour position. If you are interested please email us at [email protected] 

Thank You!

From everyone at OpenBCI, we want to say thank you. Your support is making the open source neurorevolution possible. We look forward to getting the latest OpenBCI technology into your hands. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out: [email protected]


All the best,

The OpenBCI Team

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