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Wacom Pioneers System for Embedding Brainwave Data into Digital Ink

Wacom announced that it has developed a system that embeds brainwave data into handwritten digital ink and presents a visual display of the user’s emotional state. The software analyses EEG data using Emotional Spectrum, an algorithm developed by the California-based biosensor technology company NeuroSky that measures the intensity and pleasantness of emotional activity. 

Wacom previously exhibited a prototype of the system using Neurosky algorithms, developed in collaboration with Japanese tech startup 1-10drive, Inc., at the previous Connected Ink event held in Tokyo in October 2016. That system detected cognitive states such as attention, meditation, familiarity and mental effort. The upgraded version uses the Emotional Spectrum algorithm to extract data on emotional states from EEG data. This data is combined with digital ink data captured by the Bamboo Slate, Wacom’s digital stationery device that enables users to write with a pen on any type of paper and instantly digitize handwritten memos.

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Stanley Yang, CEO of NeuroSky said “The two combined technology will deliver a brand new experience by utilizing new ways of communication, when emotional data and hand written data are synchronized.  Accumulation of this big data set will open doors to new business opportunities.”

Nobu Ide, SVP in charge of Wacom’s Technology Solution Business Unit said, “As far as we know, this is the first attempt to combine emotional data with digital ink, analyze that data in real time, and present the feedback in a visual display. We have set up the system using a readily available hardware—a brainwave sensing headset, a notebook PC and a digital pen—which makes this technology very accessible. We are very excited about the potential applications in many different fields, from education to psychology and medicine.

With its capacity to record a broad range of data from timestamps to geolocation and now emotional data, digital ink is a disruptive technology with vast potential across a broad range of industry sectors. Wacom will continue its pursuit to harness the power of digital ink in collaboration with partners around the world.

* EEG stands for electroencephalogram, a test commonly used to detect electrical activity in the brain

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