Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Eloe: Application of Brain-Computer Interfaces in Visual Creativity
Maxim Safioulline
2nd Author
3rd Author
M.F.A. in Design and Technology
Number of Pages
Parsons The New School for Design
Thesis Supervisor
Scott G. Pobiner, DDes
Supervisor e-mail
pobiners AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Design and Technology
Languages Familiar to Author
Russian, English, French
URL where full thesis can be found
Brain-computer interfaces, design for creativity, augmented interfaces, interaction bandwidth
Abstract: 200-500 words
The latest generation of brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) represents a significant development in our ability to monitor, record and interpret human brainwave activity. This technology has become more sophisticated and affordable. People who may have no training in neuroscience are looking to apply it in art, computing and interactive design. “Eloe” is a computer program that explores the application of BCIs in visual creativity. It gives artists an opportunity to express their unique styles and explore the aesthetic possibilities of affecting the visuals directly with brain waves. The main purpose of the software is to enrich the experience of creating art and capture this experience in visual form. When creating, artists often experience “flow” - a state of increased concentration, energy creativity. The goal of “Eloe” is to track the mental state of an artist and guide her towards “flow”. The goal is also to translate artist’s mental state into visuals by augmenting the drawing with the data received from the brain- computer interface. The system is build around NeuroSky MindSet brain-computer interface. It measures voltage fluctuations in human brain and uses proprietary processing algorithms to translate them into values of amplitudes across several brainwave frequency ranges and cumulative values for “attention” and “meditation”. This data is captured and interpreted by “Eloe” software and used to augment drawings made by tracking hand movements with Microsoft Kinect. Thickness of a line that is drawn is inversely proportionate to “attention” value - higher value gives thinner line; “meditation” controls a choice of color from a pre-set color swatch. Concentrating on a certain task would increase the level of “attention” thus allowing more detailed work. Color swatches can be assigned to different levels of “meditation” to add a layer of meaning to artist’s work - i.e. the higher the level the lighter the shade, resulting with absolute white at the peak of meditative state - a metaphor for nothingness. The system is developed in close collaboration with practicing artists and their feedback is used to support decisions made about the general operation and user interface of the software. The feedback is gathered by direct observation, interviews and analysis of videos captured during prototype testing. Feedback from experts is also used to evaluate prototypes. The project is considered successful if some of the artists who participated in the testing process would incorporate the software in their active toolset and use it to create public pieces.