sBCI-Headset—Wearable and Modular Device for Hybrid Brain-Computer Interface
Received: 25 August 2014 / Revised: 24 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 February 2015 / Published: 27 February 2015
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Severely disabled people, like completely paralyzed persons either with tetraplegia or similar disabilities who cannot use their arms and hands, are often considered as a user group of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). In order to achieve high acceptance of the BCI by this
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Severely disabled people, like completely paralyzed persons either with tetraplegia or similar disabilities who cannot use their arms and hands, are often considered as a user group of Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI). In order to achieve high acceptance of the BCI by this user group and their supporters, the BCI system has to be integrated into their support infrastructure. Critical disadvantages of a BCI are the time consuming preparation of the user for the electroencephalography (EEG) measurements and the low information transfer rate of EEG based BCI. These disadvantages become apparent if a BCI is used to control complex devices. In this paper, a hybrid BCI is described that enables research for a Human Machine Interface (HMI) that is optimally adapted to requirements of the user and the tasks to be carried out. The solution is based on the integration of a Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP)-BCI, an Event-related (de)-synchronization (ERD/ERS)-BCI, an eye tracker, an environmental observation camera, and a new EEG head cap for wearing comfort and easy preparation. The design of the new fast multimodal BCI (called sBCI) system is described and first test results, obtained in experiments with six healthy subjects, are presented. The sBCI concept may also become useful for healthy people in cases where a “hands-free” handling of devices is necessary.