Tech­ni­cal Med­i­ta­tion

A new app helps.

Woman's Era - - Con­tents - By Mala Ashok

ecently I un­der­went what is called a ‘Tech­nol­ogy Cleanse’ – more com­monly known as ‘Un­plug­ging’. Yes, sci­en­tists and psy­chol­o­gists have been scream­ing from the rooftops that we are overus­ing our de­vices and need a clean break from them. Med­i­ta­tion has been rec­om­mended to help us with this break from de­vices. How­ever, even with med­i­ta­tion apps, not all of us are able to med­i­tate. En­ter “Brain-read­ing Sun­glasses”. The new ques­tion be­comes, “Can smart-phonecon­nected sun­glasses bring your mind to a place of peace?”

Tech­nol­ogy for med­i­ta­tion: it sounds like a para­dox, right? The whole point of med­i­ta­tion, in a sense, is to un­plug. And yet, med­i­ta­tion tech has be­come wildly pop­u­lar over the past year. Ap­ple picked the app “Calm”, a mind­ful­ness and med­i­ta­tion app, for its app of the year in 2017, and com­peti­tors like Headspace have de­vel­oped loyal fol­low­ings.

Med­i­ta­tion has never been easy for me, but I’ve been try­ing it for years, in no small part to get away from the con­stant dis­trac­tion of tech­nol­ogy. I am not par­tic­u­larly hooked on the so­cial me­dia and work­flow apps that my phone has made all too con­ve­nient. Yet, an in­vi­ta­tion from Face­book or Linkedin does not go unan­swered. So, the idea of us­ing a smart­phone and a pair of ear buds to clear my mind al­ways seemed too counter-in­tu­itive to even try.

How­ever, this year’s Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show fea­tured a med­i­ta­tion tech­nol­ogy that did just this – pre­sented a pair of brain­read­ing sun­glasses by a com­pany named Smith Op­tics. Th­ese were not your typ­i­cal apps which have a sooth­ing voice whis­poring in your ears to “chill out”.

Th­ese shades ac­tu­ally have EEG sen­sors in the bridge of the nose and be­hind the ears that read your brain waves. The sun­glasses pair with a smart­phone app (Okay, it’s an app but hold on – you’ll see the dif­fer­ence) that you use with a pair of head­phones. You put the sun­glasses on so they touch your skin, start the ses­sion on the app, and sit qui­etly. As your brain starts to be­come more ac­tive, you be­gin to hear a very ba­sic, non-an­noy­ing ocean-wave sound. The more dis­tracted you are, the louder the wave sound be­comes. It works, drown­ing out your thoughts, and al­lows you to re­alise that your mind is drift­ing into things you need not think about. The beauty of this tech is that it isn’t some­one telling you to chill out, which would be pa­tro­n­is­ing and ob­nox­ious. The wave brings you to a chill space, a quiet mind. As your brain ac­tiv­ity be­gins to re­duce, so does the vol­ume of the wave sound. Your calm­ness will be re­warded with si­lence.

Af­ter­wards the app shows a chart, in­di­cat­ing how much you were able to keep your mind quiet. And you will feel con­fi­dent that if you tried again the next day, you’d be able to re­lax even more. The app also has guided med­i­ta­tion op­tions with ar­eas of fo­cus for peo­ple who want to do tar­geted cog­ni­tive train­ing – for in­stance, to im­prove sleep or re­lax­ation or the gen­eral abil­ity to im­prove their fo­cus.

So, if you’re like me, and too cool to med­i­tate with just a smart phone app, a pair of brain-read­ing sun­glasses could ac­tu­ally help you; at the very least, it’s bet­ter than some creepy dig­i­tal whis­per.

MED­I­TA­TION GETS A TECHY TOUCH AS YOUR BRAIN STARTS TO BE­COME MORE AC­TIVE, YOU BE­GIN TO HEAR A VERY BA­SIC, NON-AN­NOY­ING OCEAN-WAVE SOUND. THE MORE DIS­TRACTED YOU ARE, THE LOUDER THE WAVE SOUND BE­COMES.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.