Interfacing with Brain Computer Interfaces

Motivation – To develop a Brain Computer Interface (BCI) system that is suitable for domestic application by being robust and user friendly and customisable in terms of user ability and preference and to explore how, in terms of cognitive ergonomics, a human interface may provide consistent visual metaphors across BCI paradigms, while applications change, for example, from environmental control to entertainment and communications

Research approach – The work presented is part of a European funded project incorporating a range of academic and industrial partners, each bringing a skill and expertise in the main components of a BCI system, namely, signal acquisition, signal processing and application. The focus of the project has been to develop the BCI in a user centred design approach involving typical end users throughout the design and evaluation process.

Findings/Design – The project is multifaceted bringing with it a range of challenges from the mathematical algorithms through to the user experience. Each aspect will have a knock-on effect to the end user and how they will be able to operate the system. This paper highlights the issues that need to be considered to develop a user interface for such a multipurpose system.

Research limitations/Implications – Only the first of the three BCI paradigms has been used in this project so far.

Originality/Value – The research is novel in that is focuses on the user needs and human interface requirements in BCI research.

Take away message – Brain computer interfaces can offer a mechanism for communication and environmental control for highly disabled people. However, as a usable technology in real environments it is still in its infancy. This paper will present and discuss the challenges that are met when developing a BCI system for use in domestic setting with disabled users.


Brain Computer Interface, BCI, steady state visual evoked potentials, SSVEP, P300, ERD/ERS