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Making Fun: Brainwave Zen Garden

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Published on Nov 4, 2013

Meditation strikes a special chord with me as a maker because it is said to foster creativity, intuition, imagination, and fantasy. I can't think of traits better suited to making. I've tried meditation in the past, but it didn't seem to stick. When I saw that NeuroSky's Mindwave headsets had dropped to $100, I couldn't resist trying meditation again, this time with feedback. These headsets measure electrical signals from your brain and determine two main metrics: attention and meditation. The charts and graphs in the headset's app worked well enough for measuring attention, but the very nature of meditation is that you can't focus on charts and graphs while doing it. I set out to build a more peaceful and serene visual output for my headset, one that would actually serve to calm me even further as it displayed the depth of my meditation.

My Brainwave-Controlled Zen Garden is similar to a standard desktop zen garden in that you rake sand to calm yourself. In my version, though, the rake and resultant patterns are controlled by your actual brainwaves. If you are tense and worrisome, the rake moves randomly and quickly, scribbling odd patterns in the sand.

Read more on MAKE: http://makezine.com/video/making-fun-...

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