Press release BoxID: 462663 (g.tec medical engineering GmbH)
  • g.tec medical engineering GmbH
  • Sierningstrasse 14
  • 4521 Schiedlberg
  • Contact person
  • Barbara Vogt
  • +43 (7251) 22240-14

g.SAHARA - The new gold standard for dry electrodes

(PresseBox) (Schiedlberg, ) Many research groups have been trying to develop a practical Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). A BCI allows people to communicate through direct measures of brain activity. People can send messages via thought alone - without any movement. It sounds like science fiction, and until recently, a practical BCI was only a dream. Even though BCIs have been vital communication tools for disabled users who have trouble moving, and are gaining attention for healthy users, the need for expert help to customize software and prepare the electrode cap system prevented widespread BCI adoption.

In 2009, The Austrian company g.tec medical engineering GmbH took the first major step toward a practical BCI by bringing the first patient-ready BCI on the market. The EEG-based spelling system called intendiX was designed to be used without expert help. Instead of requiring a PhD student or technician like other products, intendiX requires only a friend, nurse, or caretaker to mount the electrode cap. However, the initial IntendiX system used a conventional gel-based electrode cap. These caps require rubbing the skin, squirting electrode gel under each electrode, and washing the cap and the user's hair afterward. Many groups developed initial versions of dry electrode systems, all of which had various problems including inadequate signal quality, limited scalp coverage, uncomfortable electrodes, and inconvenient wires.

g.tec is proud to announce a critical development toward practical BCIs: the first dry electrode system. g.SAHARA, the new gold standard in dry electrode technologies, is the first electrode system that is truly practical for home and field use. g.SAHARA uses a revolutionary gold-alloy coating and electrode design that is comfortable, easy to apply, and powerful. Signal quality is comparable to conventional gel-based electrodes, as verified in numerous tests with SMR, SSVEP and P300 BCI technology. The tests showed that BCI systems using the g.SAHARA system performed about as well as conventional gel-based BCI systems. Unlike such systems, g.SAHARA is ready to use in under one minute, without skin abrasion or any need to wash the cap or hair. Since g.SAHARA electrodes work with the g.GAMMAcap, electrodes can be placed anywhere over the scalp, allowing a wide variety of electrode montages that can cover the entire head or only specific areas. Perhaps most importantly, g.tec has tested the new g.SAHARA system with many subjects, and not one reported any pain or discomfort.

In addition to changing the BCI landscape by appealing to new end user groups, the g.SAHARA system will also revolutionize brain research and clinical applications by speeding up mounting time and reducing costs. Preparing a student for a session of EEG recording as part of a Psychology class or project, or preparing a patient for clinical recording, now takes literally less than a minute rather than 20 minutes or more. The inconvenience and expense of washing the hair and electrode caps is not just reduced - it is completely eliminated. Hence, the g.SAHARA system will allow researchers and doctors to work with far more people than before, collecting more data and diagnosing more patients with the same resources.

g.tec is a worldwide provider of hard- and software for biosignal and BCI research and has been actively cooperating with worldwide leading research-groups for many years. The European Commission is currently funding three different large scale multi-institute BCI research projects that include g.tec as a partner - more than any other company. g.tec is very active at conferences and events and has numerous peer-reviewed publications in top journals each year. g.tec received the Microsoft Innovation Award for BCI technology and several other prestigious awards, and has reported at least 35% growth in each of the last five years. This year, g.tec has once again shown why it is one of the fastest growing and most widely respected manufacturers. Try the new g.SAHARA system: the new gold standard for dry electrodes

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