EMOTIV — The Future of Work is Here NOW. Picture this: You’re sitting at your desk, your thoughts are streaming, and your fingers are flying across the keyboard. You’re in the zone—that magical state of flow when you’re at peak productivity. It feels so effortless, and you love what you’re creating. But then something like this happens:
- CEO pulls you into a last-minute meeting.
- Toddler barfs on your feet.
- The computer freezes, and you have to reboot.
Due to that unexpected interruption, you’ve lost your mojo, lost concentration, and lost that creative spark. The rest of your day is spent trying in vain to get back in that groove.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
FINDING YOUR FLOW… ANYTIME… ANYWHERE
Imagine being able to tap into a sophisticated tool that gets you back into the zone even after being derailed? A tool that acts like a virtual coach inside your mind, that measures and interprets your brain activity. A tool that gently guides you to regain that focus and slip back into that powerful flow state. That’s one mighty tool.
The best news? You don’t have to wait years or even decades for this brain-based technology to be developed. It already exists. It’s EMOTIV’s smart earbuds, and you can take advantage of it today.
Whether you work in an office or create from home, you can use EMOTIV’s Brainwear to tune in and turn out your best work. It’s neurotechnology that’s dynamic and fluid… just like you are.
This technology can do what we humans are notoriously bad at—assessing our own stress levels and cognitive limits. Think about it. We don’t always recognize or maximize the times when we’re at our creative best. We often don’t notice stress creeping in and building up. And we tend to force ourselves to power through any lapses in focus. The end result? Less than stellar work and burnout. But that inner virtual coach can change all that.
WHY TYPICAL PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS FALL SHORT
A slate of productivity tools has improved the way we work. Think of all those online scheduling apps, project management software, meeting apps, file-sharing apps, and collaboration software tools. They facilitate communication, increase accountability, and help keep projects organized. But these software tools and apps fall short in one key area.
The productivity tools we typically turn to don’t take into account our personal physiology or cognitive state at the moment. They offer cookie-cutter solutions that work for some people but miss the mark for others. That’s because we all learn and work differently. For example, some people soak up new knowledge most easily by reading. Others, however, prefer watching a video, and still, others absorb information best by listening. Some of us thrive on meetings and group brainstorming sessions while others perform better working solo. The office environment is energizing for some but overwhelming and stress-inducing for others.
In addition, we all generate our best efforts at different times. You may be in peak form at 8 AM when your coworker is hitting the snooze button. And by 4 PM, your attention may be waning while that same coworker is just hitting their stride. Your best day for work that requires deep concentration may be Tuesdays while your mind may do its best brainstorming on Fridays. You may prefer to handle solitary organizational tasks first thing in the morning. And you may wait to make calls and connect with colleagues later in the day when you’re feeling more social.
Your current online productivity management tools simply don’t have the horsepower to track all that and how it changes dynamically. Think of scheduling apps that simply fill in open time slots in your calendar with no regard for your preferences. When these tools are in charge of your time, you end up with a schedule that doesn’t suit your strengths. For example, you land in strategy sessions when you aren’t in a brainstorming mindset. And you have to force yourself to do deep work when you aren’t feeling it. It’s like you’re fighting against yourself to make it through your day. That’s no way to hit peak performance or find your flow.
Now there’s a wearable that works in sync with the moment-by-moment functioning of your brain. EMOTIV’s smart earbuds provides data on your brain’s activity to help you understand when, where, and how you work best. It enables you to quantify where your brain crosses the threshold of cognitive load to cognitive overload. In addition, it understands how your attention fluctuates throughout the day.
Think of how personal health and fitness tech tools have evolved to work with your physiology to help you reach your personal best. We’ve all learned that taking a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness will never work. Recommendations for the “average exerciser” fall short for elite athletes and can be dangerous for beginners or those returning from illness or injury. We all want and need individualized benchmarks, not just in fitness, but also in our work and creative lives as well.
That’s where EMOTIV’s Brainwear comes in.
BETTER TECH FOR A BETTER BRAIN
EMOTIV’s smart earbuds monitors your brain patterns in real-time throughout the day. It identifies the times when you lose focus, get mentally exhausted, or get into the flow. How does it work? The Brainwear combines our award-winning EEG technology with an easy-to-use smart earbud that combines the functionality of a headphone with microphone.
This exciting new tool is rooted in science. EEG technology debuted nearly a century ago. A German psychiatrist named Hans Berger pioneered the technology as a way to better understand brain function. Since then, EEG has earned a place as a trusted tool in scientific laboratories worldwide. Researchers utilize EEG to identify brainwave patterns that are associated with certain medical conditions. Moreover, EEG also helps the scientific community understand the neurobiology of stress, focus, relaxation, and much more.
In recent decades, EEG has emerged from the science lab into clinical practice. Healthcare professionals currently use it in a variety of therapeutic interventions. For example, neurofeedback is a type of EEG biofeedback that enables people to attain greater self-control of their brain signals. By retraining their brain with the help of EEG biofeedback, people can reach a desired mental state. Hundreds of research studies have shown that neurofeedback is effective for increasing attention, reducing stress and anxiety, brightening moods, improving athletic and musical performance, and much more. However, this form of EEG biofeedback has remained typically restricted to use within clinics. Brainwear’s approach is based on this concept, like having your own personal brain coach you can use anywhere, anytime it’s convenient for you.
EMOTIV has been at the forefront of the effort to enhance EEG technology. Its state-of-the-art machine learning tools translate complex brain signals into easy-to-understand measurements of cognitive states. And the EMOTIV team applies mathematical models and algorithms to brain activity. This helps discern brainwave patterns that quantify your mental state and cognitive performance. The result is a sophisticated virtual coach that provides you with feedback in real-time and continues learning what works for you. It’s teamwork at its very best.
RE-FINDING YOUR FLOW
When you slip on EMOTIV’s smart earbuds, it measures and monitors your attention and cognitive stress levels and subtly makes suggestions to help you get back on track.
What if something as simple as taking a walk could usher you back into that enviable headspace? Or what if you could get there by dimming (or turning up) the lights, meditating, or listening to music? And how great would it be if that brainwear could determine which of those strategies worked best for you? By resetting your brainwave patterns, you could feel re-energized and ready to focus on what’s important.
We, humans, are in a constant state of flux, which is why it can be so challenging for us to find the most effective solutions. Not anymore with our earbud wireless headset.
It understands that your needs may differ depending on the day of the week, time of day, and your current mental state. At certain times, you might be encouraged to spend a few moments doing deep breathing to soothe cognitive overload. If you’ve been slogging through spreadsheets, you may be nudged to shift to another task. Your virtual coach may suggest switching from looking at graphs to having your computer read the information to you.
In addition, what helps you today may be different from what helps you tomorrow or the next day. Most of us, however, assume that if something worked for us once it should work every time, so we keep trying the same techniques until they become a habit. The human brain is hardwired to create habits. Neurons that fire together, wire together. Every time an action is repeated, the neural pathway becomes a little stronger—learning to take the path of least resistance—whether it’s beneficial for you or not. So you may develop daily habits that aren’t producing the desired results and aren’t helping you be the best you can be. Having a virtual coach can steer you to adopt the most beneficial strategies for re-finding your flow.
With this proven technology, there’s no more desperate searching or second-guessing on how to find your flow. The brainwear relies on hard data to help you get there in the quickest way possible. Even better, the more you use the device, the better you become at tuning into what’s happening in your mind. You’ll begin recognizing when you’re hitting cognitive overload, when you’re losing focus, or when your environment is working against you.
YOUR BRAIN, YOUR DATA
If you’re thinking this sounds great but wondering who else might have access to your data, you can relax. With EMOTIV, you own your information. It’s your brain, your choice. You decide if you want to keep your data completely private, or if you want to share it anonymously for research purposes.
Tracking your brain may seem overkill to some, but research suggests that fitness trackers and other tools that give you quantifiable insight into your physical state or behavior can generate positive behavioral change, such as increasing your step count, adhering to health programs, or creating long-term habits that improve your health [1,2,3].
Knowledge is power. Knowing how our cognitive stress and attention levels are tracking throughout each workday puts us in the driver’s seat. It will help us identify when we are slacking off, in the zone, or burning out, leading to behavioral change and better habits.
However, cognitive stress exists on a spectrum, and it’s personal. As we take on cognitively demanding work, such as complex problem solving, there’s a certain range where cognitive stress is helping. On the flip side, we can reach a critical point where it heightens to overload. Your range and breaking point will be different from others—which is why personalized tracking and metrics are imperative to the optimization of your work.
Hitting the level of stress that leads to optimal performance is a psychological theory that’s been around for over a century (Yerkes-Dodson ), and now we can put it into practice. EMOTIV’s Brainwear tracks your personal range and enables you to understand when your brain may be toppling over into unproductive territory.
This way, we perform better at work. And in addition, these improvements in habits could lead to the sought-after “work-life” balance we all dream of. Having that virtual brain coach guide you through the strategies that work best for you is the key. It could enable you to feel better and be more creative, more productive, and more collaborative. The best part? It’s not just for the workplace. It’s for anywhere you need those skills—at home, in community organizations, and more.
WHAT’S THE EMOTIV DIFFERENCE?
With over a decade’s experience leading neuro-technological innovation, EMOTIV takes you to the next level. While remaining completely non-invasive, our bluetooth-enabled earbud headset is also multi-functional with a built-in headphone and microphone. And it’s the first of its kind.
In 2018, SAP Design and EMOTIV introduced the first application of future of work thinking to address today’s workplace challenges. The mission? Make work pleasantly natural and productive by adapting interactions to people’s innate capabilities. SAP Design provided its best-in-breed learning platform. Then they combined it with the cutting-edge brain-sensing hardware and machine-learning algorithms from EMOTIV. Together, they formulate a vision to revolutionize workplace learning. You can check it out here.
The way we work is changing, especially in light of the pandemic. Millions of workers have exited the office environment to work from home where a host of distractions threaten to steal your focus. Many in-person conferences and meetings have shifted to online alternatives and Zoom calls where energy and enthusiasm can be harder to muster. Business models have been upended. Entrepreneurs, managers, and workers at all levels have had to rethink how they do business. Creative, out-of-the-box thinking has never played such a vital role. It’s more important than ever to have access to tools that help you find your flow and stay in the zone when you need to. Just as critical, those tools also need to help you unplug and unwind when you don’t.
And we all need to find that edge to help us stay relevant, be more agile, and get to the top of our game. Having responsive technology that works with you, not against you, gives you a sense of personal empowerment so you can make it happen.
Why not make work a more fluid activity that innately syncs with where you are mentally and cognitively on a moment-by-moment basis? Who wouldn’t want a virtual coach, sensing your stress levels, focus, and flow, and making personalized suggestions to help you do more with less effort? That’s the future we all want—working smarter, not harder.
REFERENCES Bravata DM, Smith-Spangler C, Sundaram V, et al. Using Pedometers to Increase Physical Activity and Improve Health: A Systematic Review. JAMA. 2007; 298(19):2296–2304. doi:10.1001/jama.298.19.2296
 Brickwood K, Watson G, O’Brien J, Williams AD. Consumer-Based Wearable Activity Trackers Increase Physical Activity Participation: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019; 7(4):e11819 doi: 10.2196/11819
 Fritz, T., Huang, E. M., Murphy, G. C., Zimmerman, T. (2013) Persuasive technology in the real world: A study of long-term use of activity sensing devices for fitness. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems – CHI 14
 Yerkes, R.M. and Dodson, J.D. (1908), “The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit‐formation”, Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology, Vol. 18, p. 459.