Minnesota Patent of the Month – December 2021

Wearable technology has grown in popularity, bringing us the ability to track our heart rate or send a text from our watch. But the applications of these wearable technologies are quite endless. Medibiotics, LLC is a Minnesota based tech start-up who has worked to combine medical technology with wearable technology over the years. Some of their devices include the Motion Recognition Clothing and modular smart clothing and the Willpower Watch wearable food consumption monitor. Recently, the company has developed and patented a wearable device which tracks brain activity and uses audio or vibratory responses to guide the user’s brain activity between patterns.

There are existing and similar devices already available, but each has their own limitations – from being awkward to wear or ineffective in use. Medibiotics design is simple, making it comfortable and easy to mount on the user’s head. The device is made of a few straps, one which encircles the head like the rim of a cap would; and the other which goes over the head from ear to ear. Electrodes are positioned along these straps. The device has a data processor and an auditory user interface. Data from the electrodes is analyzed to determine brain activity within a frequency band of 0.5-4 Hz. The speaker creates sounds which help guide a user from one brain activity pattern to another.

One application of this type of wearable technology is the improvement of sleep. So the user wears the strappy cap while they sleep. The speaker creates sound waves with selected frequencies, amplitudes, or periodicities which influence brain activity. In this application, the sound waves would promote a reduced frequency brainwave pattern, guiding the user’s brain activity toward slower brainwaves and helping them get to sleep, and have a better sleep.

Another application could have the device emit sound with certain frequencies and phases designed to cancel tinnitus sounds. With the sleek design, it can be easily worn during your day to day, or overnight, and aims to improve your life.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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