IDUN Technologies is an innovative start-up that develops sensors designed to measure human emotions through headphones. It was founded in 2017 after three years of research and development at the ΕΤΗ Zurich, where it became a producer of custom soft and hard electrodes.
The ETH Zurich spin-off uses signal processing and machine learning to classify human emotions based on brain waves recorded in the ear canal. The start-up is positioning itself in the B2B field and licenses its technology to other companies for use in the next generation of headphones.
As it is already known, the internet of things is to connect things that work together and offer the desired result. According to Séverine Chardonnens (co-founder of Idun Technologies), the motto is “found the Internet of Humans – a world where devices respond to a user’s emotional needs, creating empathetic technology.“
CEO Simon Bachmann explains: “Our patented flagship product is called DRYODE™ Guardian. It’s a sensor that can be built into headphones like Microsoft’s Surface Earbuds to measure human emotions based on brain waves.“
The proprietary DRYODE™ sensor material results from decades of research on stretchable electronics from ETH Zurich and years of research and development at IDUN Technologies.
The skin-conformal nature of our dry electrode material allows comfortable wear and fit for repeated wear with no skin preparation necessary. Highly conductive polymer compositions allow for extremely low skin-contact impedances, matching and regularly outperforming gold standard disposable electrolyte gel electrodes. This, in turn, allows for high signal-to-noise ratios, opening up many opportunities for signal processing.
The Idun Technologies hardware has high functionality, reliability, and low power consumption. The device features all necessary connectivity (BLE, Wi-Fi) to ensure intuitive use and robust performance. They optimized the device form factor for comfortable fit and artifact reduction. Also, they facilitate pre-processing on the device to ensure optimal data transmission to the cloud.
The hardware offers one of the lightest and smallest EEG(Electroencephalogram) devices. They ensure wearing comfort through light, small form factor, and optimal fit with different tip sizes. The resolution, sample rate, and battery life are optimized for real-life electroencephalogram monitoring.
The Cloud impacts
The device sends pre-processed data to the cloud, where signal processing turns brain signals into actionable insights. Relevant neuro markers are identified in EEG(Electroencephalogram) data and interpreted accordingly. Heuristics and Machine Learning algorithms ensure accurate signal processing and neuro markers detection.
Standard EEG paradigms like eyes-open/eyes-closed, sleep onset identification, visually (SSVEP), and auditory-evoked potentials (ASSR) are featured. The cloud provides an intuitive user interface.
The Guardian Nero – Intelligence
The platform is a system that translates brain waves to actionable insights with the most intuitive neural interface to date. It is a platform that processes brain signals for mental health and wellbeing. Ιs already being used in the fields of sleep, hearing health, and wellbeing.
They have invested in their in-house experimental setup and can now record sleep EEG data compared to the clinical gold standard, a polysomnography device (PSG). They currently hit around 80% congruence to the PSG with massively improved setup time and user comfort.
Collaborations with Segotia, Everlisten, and Takeda
The start into 2022 was a fulminant one. The Idun team technology had changed to demo our technology at Consumer Electronics. They showed (at CES) in Las Vegas in early January. They demonstrated the result of their proof-of-concept study with Segotia, a spatial audio experience using eye movement as a control input to change speakers.
Validated steady-state auditory responses are neuro markers for hearing threshold detection; adapting headphones and hearing aids to your hearing capability comes one step closer. The proof-of-concept study with Everlisten as well coming close to an end and already achieving the requested success criterium. The company uses our actionable insights to build a personalized hearing training solution.
I should mention that Idun Technologies has been selected to have one of the best digital health projects in Europe through the Takeda Digital Health Innovation Challenge.
The start-up has developed a comprehensive understanding of all aspects, from brain activity to device integration. This technology can treat patients with sleep disorders by improving sleep health with discreet headphones that monitor brain waves and facilitate sleep onset by neuromodulation. The contribution of machine learning can, due to the continuous analysis of brain data, increase the effectiveness of treatment.