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Axio returns as Melon, an EEG headband that'll help you learn to focus


The quantified self movement's gaining steam, with companies creating all sorts of gadgets to track our activity levels, sleeping habits and even what's going on inside our heads. Melon's an EEG headband that taps into your brain's inner workings to show you how well you maintain mental focus. We actually saw Melon's prototype predecessor last year when it was called Axio, and while this new band packs largely the same components, the design's been refined to a much thinner profile. As before, its got a trio of electrodes for sensing brainwaves, a NeuroSky chip for filtering out extraneous electrical noise and Bluetooth 4.0 for offloading data wirelessly. It sends data to iPhones (Android's in development) running the Melon app, which translates that info into a focus graph -- generally speaking, the higher the neural activity in your pre-frontal cortex, the higher your level of focus. Users then input contextual data tags like time of day, type of activity and the surrounding environmental conditions to allow them to track variables that may affect their focus.

In addition to helping users learn what affects their focus levels, the app also provides tips for improving focus and a game to help you increase your mental powers. The game is simple: you start with a plain image of a piece of paper, and as you focus on that image, it folds itself into an origami shape. While the official app is all the Melon software currently available, the company has plans to launch a free SDK to allow devs to build their own apps for the platform. Additionally, the goal is to have Melon be compatible with other biometric platforms like Nike+ and Fitbit. For now, the app is iOS only, but an Android version is scheduled to launch in a couple months.

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