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$2,090 pledged of $12,000 goal
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By Synaptitude
$2,090 pledged of $12,000 goal
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About

Remember, if our Kickstarter fails or we fail to deliver all funds are returned to you! 

There is no risk to you. 

For every person you convince to back us even $1, we will give you a month free of our premium software!

The Idea Behind ThinkSuite

ThinkSuite is a collection of applications designed to improve focus, mood, and knowledge retention. We accomplish this through our ebook reader (AlphaBKZ), music player (BrainBeats), and focus trainer (FocusFuel).

AlphaBKZ Features

  • Automatically take notes on pages with reduced focus 
  • Automatically generate flash cards for problem words 
  • Improves active reading 

BrainBeats Features

  • Automatic creation of mood-based playlists 
  • Selects desired mood and songs are selected to match 
  • Recommends brand new music 

FocusFuel Features

  • Monitors focus and provides a focus and productivity rating 
  • Compares scores with friends, colleagues, or parents 
  • Improves productivity by keeping you on track

ThinkSuite should be your study partner and your friend, helping you stay on track, selecting music it knows you will enjoy, and so much more! It works by integrating with consumer EEGs, webcams, current applications, and more!

Day One Update and Promotion!

Already, we have raised more than nearly every software based Kickstarter, but that's not going to be enough.

We need your help to spread the word!!!

With this in mind, we'll offer you a deal.

For every person you convince to back us (at any tier, even $1) we will give you A MONTH free of our premium software.

That's right, if you can get 120 people to back our project we will credit your account with a decade of our premium software (assuming we are funded)!

Share us with your friends on Facebook, join the ThinkSuite challenge on HabitRPG, even throw a pizza party, and help us make ThinkSuite possible!

Three applications which help improve your focus, mood, and knowledge retention:

  • BrainBeats (prototyped): An emotion-based music player
  • AlphaBKZ (prototyped): A focus-tracking and statistic-centric ebook reader
  • FocusFuel (mocked-up): An application that keeps you on track

If we surpass our funding goal, we will add additional applications and EEGs for rent!

BrainBeats is our music player that selects music based on either emotions, predicted enjoyment or user selection. 

BrainBeats features:

  • Automatically tag (classify) music based on mood 
  • Select desired mood, songs are selected accordingly 
  • Monitor song preferences 
  • Compare music preferences to others 
  • Recommend brand new music 
  • Import your current media libraries 
  • Eventual integration with Spotify and Rdio

With the ability to track focus, mood, skips, and compare music preferences to others, it is possible to create unique music recommendations to help maintain/improve mood!

BrainBeats works to improve mood by selecting music that has been previously associated with pleasant, focused, or zen-like moods. 

This is accomplished by tracking a user's mood via an EEG and potentially facial expressions[7]. Each time a song is played, it is given two scores: arousal (ranging from calm to excited) and valence (ranging from positive to negative mood). 

The more time the song(s) are played, the more accurate the scores become and the better we can classify how the song makes the user feel. Below is a graphical representation of how BrainBeats classification works:

Graphical mockup of BrainBeats song classification
Graphical mockup of BrainBeats song classification

Once a song passes a mood threshold, they are added to that playlist (i.e. Happy, Sad, etc).

Pronounced Alpha-Books, AlphaBKZ is our eBook reader. Originally designed to track attention over time, it can do so much more! 

AlphaBKZ features:

  • Automatically take notes on pages with reduced focus 
  • Automatically generate flash cards for problem words 
  • Create excellent book recommendations 
  • Alert users when they get too tired to be effective 
  • Recognize problems understanding lines or phrases 
  • Help users maintain set goals 
  • Generate a graph of interest overtime and more!

With the ability to track focus, mood, book, page, and even predict the sentence the user is reading, it is possible to make excellent book recommendations.

Although the analytics portal is still being finalized and it needs some nice styling, it is possible to dig into any form of analytic desirable. This includes page counts to time per page, focus per page to favored text styling, and even the easiest to-read font size.

Average attention for research papers and jokes (an experiment we ran)
Average attention for research papers and jokes (an experiment we ran)

With these statistics at hand, it is possible to create an optimal environment for learning, memory, and enjoyment. 

FocusFuel is still currently in production, but we have some of the framework built, as well as the mock up. It works by tracking where your attention is over time. 

You will be able to select applications you wish to give your attention to. During the time you are focusing on the appropriate applications, you will be gathering points. If you are highly focused, you will gain double points. If you are moderately focused you will gain points at a regular rate, and not focusing will lose you points. 

FocusFuel features:

  • Monitors focus providing a "focus rating" 
  • Compare scores with friends 
  • Monitor productivity 
  • Integration with HabitRPG for daily completion 
  • Improves focus via neurofeedback

If you lose focus, the application will attempt to gain your attention back, as the mock-up displays below:

Mock-up of FocusFuel
Mock-up of FocusFuel

We hope to implement several different ways to gain your attention back, so stay tuned for more.

Eventually, we intend to integrate FocusFuel with HabitRPG and similar applications! This will enable points to be compared with friends and potentially make it more competitive, if desired.

When we launch, we intend to integrate our applications with HabitRPG, enabling competitions and quests with friends!

HabitRPG is a habit tracking application, which treats your goals like a Role Playing Game. You can level up as you succeed, lose HP if you fail, and earn money to buy weapons and armor[1]. FocusFuel will eventually be integrated with HabitRPG (using their API), enabling you to complete dailies and quests with ease!

ThinkSuite works by using a technique called neurofeedback. Essentially, we track your current mental state, whether sad or happy, focused or distracted, etc. We can then use this information to change your environment. 

For example, if BrainBeats (our media player) recognizes you as feeling sad, it will select music that has previously made you happy. This in turn will make you happier, more productive, and hopefully improve your quality of life.

Neurofeedback is used regularly in academia and as an alternative treatment for ADHD[2][3][4][5], depression[6], epilepsy, anxiety, and more. A full literature overview on using neurofeedback to improve focus is available on our blog.

Although we make no claim that our software can or should, be used treat any of these conditions (as we are not FDA approved), we follow the same procedures outlined in the scientific papers and procedural manuals. However, our software uses these methods to select music and attempts to keep you on track without training, making it a non-medical neurofeedback method.

Medical Neurofeedback Methods

Medical neurofeedback training works by training users how it feels to be focused and reinforces the appropriate states. For example, there are many games that are related to racing using neurofeedback; the more the users focus, the faster they go. Over time, this reinforces the feeling of focusing, as well as the neural pathways that improve focus. 

Our Neurofeedback Method

The way we employ neurofeedback does not reinforce focus, and as such will not treat any illnesses. Instead, it can improve mood and focus passively by altering the the environment, e.g. desktop UI or music. ThinkSuite should be more of a study partner, helping you stay on track and selecting music it knows you will enjoy.

In the case of AlphaBKZ, we track where a user is looking via a webcam (off by default). We can then track the user's eyes and determine where they are in the book, then if there are issues understanding a particular word or phrase we can create a flashcard for them![8][9][10][11]

In the future, we hope to expand into medical neurofeedback training. However, for now we are sticking to non-medical uses of neurofeedback.

This ensures our method is 100% automated and is a fraction of the cost

EEGs are not sold through our Kickstarter. Without an EEG, our applications are still accessible and will continue to work. However, the accuracy of our music classification/categorization and focus tracking are diminished significantly.

ThinkSuite Premium

We recognize ThinkSuite Premium subscription service, is a fairly large investment (and requires an EEG):

  • ThinkSuite: $180 - $360
  • EEG device(s): $300 - $500
  • Total Cost: $480 - $860

However, when we compare our software with other neurofeedback methods, we feel the cost is quite fair (assuming you use our software daily):

ThinkSuite Basic

If this is out of our price range, you can always get our EEG-less software package, called ThinkSuite Basic. Purchasing ThinkSuite Basic is a one-time $50 fee, with an option to upgrade to ThinkSuite premium at any time. 

We feel this price is fair, given you will receive three applications unlike any other. Further, we will provide free upgrades/support as we continue to develop.

It should be noted there a slightly less features in ThinkSuite Basic than in ThinkSuite Premium, and ThinkSuite Basic has slightly less accurate data (in other words, there will be more false-positives).

Today, we have:

  • BrainBeats (prototyped): An emotion-based music player 
  • AlphaBKZ (prototyped): A focus-tracking and statistic-centric ebook reader 
  • FocusFuel (mocked-up): An application that keeps you on track

 Currently, only desktop environments are supported.

In the future, we intend to add support for mobile environments; however, we are waiting for greater mobile EEG support.

If you do not have an EEG, we recommend you purchase one from either Emotiv or OpenBCI! 

In the event you never plan to purchase an EEG, our basic software package is still designed to work! Unfortunately, this means that our software will have difficulty tracking focus and classifying/categorizing music, as the EEG is a large part of the experience. 

ThinkSuite is designed to use multiple inputs to track focus and mood, from tracking the average time-per-page to monitoring the songs you skip. The combination of an EEG signal with other analytics provide a highly accurate system. Without the EEG signal(s) the accuracy of our system will be diminished, but will still be fairly accurate.

Moreover, if an EEG was used in the past (but you don't wear it in the current session) we can draw large correlations between specific patterns to each user, and all previous EEG-enhanced data is saved. Thus, enabling us to continuing to produce excellent results. 

On the other hand, if an EEG has never been integrated with the ThinkSuite account, we will not have that data and will have measurably less accurate results. 

Alternatively, we have also created camera integration, which tracks facial movements and gazes. This can be used (optionally, and by default turned off) to further enhance results, with or without an EEG. 

We will be using CustomInk for our design.

See our Biographies on Synaptitude.me!

Co-Founders

Austin Walters, Software/CEO 

Austin develops software and does research in the fields of computer vision in Tim Bretl's Lab at the University of Illinois and has work experience in healthcare, finance, and manufacturing. He has worked at Capital One, where he worked on Selenium Factory, and Caterpiller as a part-time software engineer designing a "smart" (automated) video editor. 

Austin is treasurer of the UIUC chapter of ACM and is apart of ISUR. Robb and Austin also have a small business where they convert terminal Model M keyboards into USB compatible models.

He contributes to Top Financial Advisor, writes a tech blog (austingwalters.com), and tutors on Google Helpouts.

Jennifer Kokkines, Neuroscientist 

Jenny is our go-to neuroscience expert. She has work experience ranges from a lab assistant in a genetic soybean lab to research for Dr. Rhanor Gillette, where she simulates simple organisms computationally and in robots.

Robert Seaton, Analytic Guru

Robb loves data and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty to sift through it. He has worked on Gentoo (a linux distribution), porting Plan 9, during the 2011 Google Summer of Code. 

He also spends time building websites, most recently Top Financial Advisor and he writes a popular tech blog, rs.io. Robb and Austin also have a small business where he converts terminal Model M keyboards into USB compatible models.

Contributors

Vincent Chang: Our recently recruited designer. Having only just joined the team, the logos and overall design is a work-in-progress. He has created the AlphaBKZ, FocusFuel, and BrainBeats icons and is working to create a more pleasant overall UI. It should improve greatly throughout the Kickstarter (so stay tuned for updates)!

Cole Gleason: Originally a co-founder, Cole had to step back due to other obligations. However, he provides helpful insight, feedback, and often will track down leads. 

Cole has plenty of software development experience working at companies such as Facebook, Hulu, and most recently CoreOS (a YC company). He's chair of the UIUC chapter of ACM, was an organizer for 2013 Reflections | Projections conference, and contributes avidly to the open source community (github).

SIGBio ACM@UIUC

Brainbeats is a derivative of emoMusic/emoPlayer created by SIGBio (special interest group in biology) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign chapter of ACM. Austin and Vincent have ran the group for two years, and helped lead SIGBio and the emoPlayer development. BrainBeats is an extension and cleaner version of the code base, with more capabilities. 

Music: Going Higher from www.bensound.com
T-Shirts: CustomInk
Logo: Brain comes from FreePik under CC 3.0, altered to Purple/Pink/White
* Plans to update logo are in progress

[1] HabitRPG, a habit tracking application, which treats your goals like a Role Playing Game.

[2] Arns, Martijn, et al. "Efficacy of neurofeedback treatment in ADHD: the effects on inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity: a meta-analysis." Clinical EEG and neuroscience 40.3 (2009): 180-189.

[3] Lofthouse, Nicholas, et al. "A review of neurofeedback treatment for pediatric ADHD." Journal of Attention Disorders (2011): 1087054711427530.

[4] Gevensleben, Holger, et al. "Is neurofeedback an efficacious treatment for ADHD? A randomised controlled clinical trial." Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 50.7 (2009): 780-789.

[5] Fuchs, Thomas, et al. "Neurofeedback treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children: a comparison with methylphenidate."Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback 28.1 (2003): 1-12.

[6] Saxby, Ellen, and Eugene G. Peniston. "Alpha‐theta brainwave neurofeedback training: An effective treatment for male and female alcoholics with depressive symptoms." Journal of clinical psychology 51.5 (1995): 685-693.

[7] Jatupaiboon, Noppadon, Setha Pan-ngum, and Pasin Israsena. "Real-time EEG-based happiness detection system." The Scientific World Journal 2013 (2013).

[8] Pan, Bing, et al. "The determinants of web page viewing behavior: an eye-tracking study."Proceedings of the 2004 symposium on Eye tracking research & applications. ACM, 2004.

[9] Buscher, Georg, Edward Cutrell, and Meredith Ringel Morris. "What do you see when you're surfing?: using eye tracking to predict salient regions of web pages."Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2009.

[10] Walters, Gomez, Gleason "Using Computer Vision to Improve EEG Signals"www.synaptitude.me. Synaptitude, 2014.

[11] Pylkkänen, Liina, and Alec Marantz. "Tracking the time course of word recognition with MEG."Trends in cognitive sciences7.5 (2003): 187-189.

Risks and challenges

Users will need their own EEG to use the premium version of our software, i.e. Emotiv or OpenBCI. These systems can be expensive ($300 - $750), so this will be a considerable (though we feel, worthwhile) investment.

Eventually, we hope to provide EEGs for rent through our website and any excess funds generated from this Kickstarter will go towards rentable EEGs. However, until we raise capital, that will not be an option.

Part of the cost associated with our project comes from the licenses we would be required to purchase from Emotiv. Although, this is not a large risk because we accounted for it, any changes in the licensing could cause us issues.

Further, there are many different EEG platforms, our software has been designed to work with Emotiv and OpenBCI thus far. However, in order to ensure our software works with all possible configurations, we will need to purchase and test the system. This is both expensive and time consuming, so we not be able to support all EEG platforms immediately, especially ones which require licensing.

Finally, we have only recently begun designing a pleasant UI and logos. This may detract from the current appeal; however, we felt it prudent to focus on the science as opposed to beauty. The challenge we now have is that many of you may wonder how good it will look! We hope to provide a pleasant design by the end of the Kickstarter and will keep you informed!

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    SUPPORT THE CAUSE

    Donate to help support your family or friends who have trouble focusing, and you'll receive your own collection of ThinkSuite stickers!

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    PLUS A T-SHIRT

    Select your favorite application from ThinkSuite Basic AND get a T-Shirt! Share us with your friends, and we will even give you access to ThinkSuite Premium!

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    Be an early adopter, pledge $20 and receive the ThinkSuite basic edition, no subscription necessary! Although there are less features, it still helps you improve focus and improves mood!

    Best for those who want to improve their focus, but don't have an EEG!

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    THINKSUITE T-SHIRT

    Wear your support on your sleeve, literally!

    Pledge $25 and you'll be the first to receive your choice of one of our limited-edition t-shirts. Plus, your choice of one of the ThinkSuite applications upon release.

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    AN APPLICATION OF YOUR CHOICE
    THINKSUITE HOODIE

    You're cool enough to support us, but you don't want to be cold.

    Pledge and you'll receive a hooded sweatshirt that will keep you warm while letting everyone know just how cool you are. Plus, your choice of on of the ThinkSuite applications upon release.

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    Pledge $50 and receive the ThinkSuite basic edition, no subscription necessary! Although there are less features, it still helps you improve focus and improves mood!

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    2x THINKSUITE BASIC EDITION
    PLUS 4 MONTH PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION

    Pledge and you and a friend will receive the ThinkSuite basic edition for you and a friend, plus a 4 month premium subscription!

    EEG sold separately.

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    You AND a friend will receive access to the alpha and beta, as well as a 2 year subscription for yourself!

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    EVERYTHING
    MEET & GREET
    HAND-KNIT SWEATER
    CUSTOM DESKTOP APPLICATION

    We will deliver a desktop application using our EEG and computer software. This application will be built based on your specifications. You will also receive every previous tier and we will also be happy to meet with you!

    Plus, a hand-knit sweater from the team!

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Funding period

- (30 days)