I kick against meditation. I don’t know why. I am aware of the benefits for creativity and focus, and the scientific proof behind this. The alpha and theta waves produced in meditative states lead to a feeling of alert relaxation – different to what happens in the brain when you are just, say, chillaxing to Michael Ball. But it is still boring, isn’t it?
Muse 2 could be perfect: it is a brain-sensing wearable device that provides live feedback (via headphones, not supplied) during guided meditations. Sounds extraordinary, looks stupid: a plastic headband with five gold chips stuck on wobbly tape, as if a child has cut up his parent’s credit cards to make a contactless tiara. Except the arms tuck behind the ears like glasses, while the band wraps around the middle of the forehead, reading the wearer’s … thoughts? It is perilously close to something the Riddler would come up with.
Muse 2 bills itself as “a research-grade EEG device”, which is intimidating. The sensors on the band and arms monitor heart rate, movement, ionic currents, er, bitter thoughts and moral goodness. Or maybe I am just being paranoid.
I charge it up. In the linked phone app, I select my region – the closest being Europe (sob), which is marked “50Hz”. This is probably a notch filter, to block the mains frequency, as that is not the electricity being produced in your brain, which is what it is trying to record. (But who chooses the continental standard? When will Brussels leave us to wallow in our self-inflicted hertz?)
I put on the headband and instantly feel extremely self-conscious, mainly because I look like an extra on Xena the Warrior Princess. The side of the box features models of every demographic wearing the head girdle, arranged in the style of Celebrity Squares, like an equal-opps mosaic of cult members.