The Real Future of Work

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Olivier Oullier Neuroscientist & DJ – President, EMOTIV

The launch of EMOTIV MN8 is a very important milestone for our company.

After nearly a decade of continuous effort and innovation, our wireless brain monitoring sensors and apps have empowered tens of thousands of passionate individuals around the world to monitor and better understand how the human brain functions in real-life situations; not just in research labs and medical facilities where neuroscientific studies were historically conducted.

While we felt we had made big strides in democratizing the collection and processing of brain data with scientific rigor, we were more than aware this was not enough. Our mission to improving access to brain health for all had not been fully realized yet.

At EMOTIV, we are committed to providing solutions that enable everyone, not just neuroscientists and physicians, to collect and more importantly make sense of brain data. We also want to ensure the growth of every organization can benefit from neuroscientific insights.

In order to achieve this goal at a global scale, we needed something radically new and disruptive.

At first blush, EMOTIV MN8 might very well appear to be just another set of wireless earbuds. Fair enough since it does offer high-quality Bluetooth audio and a microphone allowing you to listen to music, podcasts and, of course, to make calls. But there is a lot more to this new product.

EMOTIV MN8 is a new generation of brain monitoring sensors called EEG buds comprised of 2 in-ear brain sensors, 4 behind-the-ear reference electrodes and multi-axis motion sensors that measure balance and head movements. It allows you to monitor brain activity and assess cognitive and affective states in any work environment thanks to our machine learning algorithms.

EMOTIV MN8’s design and form factor have not simply been chosen for aesthetics reasons. With now nearly 100, 000 of our neuro-headsets sold in more than 120 countries, we benefited from thousands of interactions with our beloved community of developers, researchers, citizen scientists, self-quantifiers, scientific and business partners. They clearly expressed that a frictionless form factor that would integrate seamlessly into the any environment was a top priority for neurotechnologies to become truly pervasive in the workplace.

Let’s be honest here, all neuro-headsets available on the market, including our award-winning ones, make us look like cyborgs in sci-fi movies. This is not so much of an issue when one wants to conduct lab research. But if your goal is to collect brain data in real-life contexts such as in the workplace, the cyborg-like look does not always work. Believe me, we’ve tried it! Brain sensors need to be embedded into a form factor that people do not mind wearing for hours, and that does not disrupt their workflow.

This is why our teams dedicated more than 4 years of research and development to give birth to EMOTIV MN8 and the machine learning algorithms that enable scientific and real-time monitoring of stress and attention in the workplace.

EMOTIV MN8 is the centerpiece of a cloud-based ecosystem we will unveil in the coming weeks. Our goal is to make it easier than ever for public and private organizations to leverage the power of contextualized neuroinformatics at scale: to realize the benefits of validated neuroscientific and behavioral insights collected in real-life work environments on thousands of people. Together with our partners, our aim is to improve work wellness, safety, training and productivity strategies. Brain data can also be integrated dynamically in truly adaptive software solutions aimed at making people feel better, be safer, learn better and be more productive.

One big workplace issue is the way we are being categorized by the results of the battery of tests we undergo during and right after our recruitment.

As human beings, our cognitive, affective and (neuro)physiological states evolve continuously. How could a one-time self-reported (and very often flawed) assessment provided by one-size-fits-all cognitive and personality tests capture the cultural, cognitive, experiential and contextual diversity and dynamics that makes us who we really are? In general or at a given time?

Thanks to the personal and professional experience we gain, we are unlikely to be the same employee after several months or years into a job. Life being often challenging, our bodies and minds are not the same from one week to another.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my state-of-mind feels different on a Thursday compared to a Monday. This is not a problem. It’s called being human. And this is why our working conditions must be evidence-based and dynamically adapted to how we feel.

It is time to redefine the future of work not only with respect to what artificial intelligence and automation are going to change, but to tailor our work conditions and environments to how we feel. It is time to better understand how we can thrive at work by leveraging rigorous neuroscience to improve our workplace wellness, safety, learning and performance. The benefits cascade from professional to personal and every stakeholder will feel the positive effects of it: employers, employees as well as the people we love.

Speaking of the ones we love, as someone who travels a lot to meet our research and business partners around the world, and to represent our company at global events, I am often told by my dear Mama that I should listen to my body. She is right. Mamas are always right! Especially when it comes to the health of their children. But we can now do a lot more than simply listening to our bodies.

The time has come to listen to our brains. This is the real future of work.

And Team EMOTIV has a lot more for you to discover in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

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