People often wish to go into others’ mind, but reading the brain of a person sitting next to you is as tricky as the Judgment of Paris, unless you are a psychiatrist. Offering a solution, the Hitachi Ltd teaming up with Hitachi Kokusai Denki Engineering Co Ltd has come up with a wearable device that makes use of far-red light to monitor the brain. Developed as a non-pharmaceutical product for applications like brain research and neuromarketing, the portable encephalometer directs the far-red light towards the forehead to pass through the skull and monitor the prefrontal area of a brain.
Derived from the "optical topography method" (NIRS: near infrared spectroscopy), the encephalometer keeps a constant vigil on scattering and reflection levels to estimate the change in flow of blood in the brain. Featuring eight irradiation parts, eight light-receiving parts and 22 channels, the new brain analyzer places far-red light semiconductor laser elements for two wavelengths, i.e. 705 and 830nm, in a single devise that removes the need for optical fibers.
Comprising a headset, a control box for data recording and a controller to illustrate measured results in real time, the encephalometer also features a built-in battery, so it could be used for about two hours continuously. Weighing about 700g, the headset connects with a 650g control box through wireless LAN. Though there is no word on prizing yet, but the encephalometer is expected to cost you ¥10 million (about $107) after it’ll reach the market by July 2010.