Brain wave technology put to test by Harrisburg U

Cris Collingwood//February 13, 2023

Brain wave technology put to test by Harrisburg U

Cris Collingwood//February 13, 2023

Dave Segal controls a computer with facial movements and electrical impulses through an earbud – Photo courtesy of Naqi Logix

A Harrisburg man with a desire to help paralyzed veterans improve their quality of life has created technology that is implanted in an earbud to control devices through head movement. 

That technology, being tested at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU), can be used for operating wheelchairs, assessing personal health and controlling computers. 

Dave Segal, a self-professed nerd, said he wanted to help soldiers who are paralyzed, so he started studying brain waves.

“I always thought if I could help people, everything else would fall into place. So, I shaved my head and started studying brain waves,” Segal said. 

Self-taught, Segal said he studied for several years and came up with a way to create movement using facial movements and electrical signals from the brain. 

“This senses imperceptible facial gestures and head movements and turns them into instant commands,” Segal explained. 

“I went to HU looking for a place to develop my idea,” he said. “Eric {Eric Darr, president of HU} loved the idea and gave me office space and support about eight years ago. That was critical.” 

In addition to the soft support, Segal’s company, now part of Naqi Logix, will work with HU’s esports team, The Storm, to test the technology.  

“There is not a lot of assisted technology for quadriplegics,” Segal said. “Most of the technology is based on brain implants because everyone’s brain waves are like fingerprints. This is a non-invasive way of creating movement. 

Segal, during his quest, met a patient at Penn State Health who has to lay face down 23 hours a day because of his injuries. Segal said that patient kept his quest going so he could give the man quality of life while he was prone. 

If the technology can work for gamers, Segal said it can be used by quadriplegics to not only play games but use computers for whatever tasks they need. 

 The success with wheelchair control led Segal to computers to master navigating the system without using hands, a mouse or a keyboard. 

That’s where The Storm comes in. The national collegiate Overwatch champions will test the earbuds to validate the use of the technology in commercial video games. 

“We believe this breakthrough technology has the potential to bring significant advancements to the world of video gaming in the very near future,” said Darr. “We envision several possible uses for this revolutionary technology as an alternative to the traditional mouse, keyboard, voice, and screen commands used by gamers.” 

HU is also helping Segal with the individualized health assessment applications. “This technology is much more accurate and informative about a user’s health when compared to fitness bands and smart watches,” Darr said.  “The data collected from the head and ear canal is much more useful and precise than data collected from the wrist.”   

The Storm players will test the Naqi Model 3 earbud in action. HU researchers and faculty will be documenting the immediate commercial uses for Naqi, with the aim of also determining the potential uses of the technology in AR/VR and Metaverse applications.  

As part of the partnership, Naqi will be showcasing its breakthrough invisible interface, contained in the Naqi Model 3 earbuds for use with computers, robots, video games, and other devices in the digital world, Segal, who has 22 patents to date, said. 

Naqi also allows for easy navigation of the Internet of Things, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and the emerging Metaverse, providing users with an “invisible superpower” that connects them to nearly anything in the digital world and has “the potential to disrupt industries worth trillions of dollars,” Segal said. 

 “We are excited to embark on this partnership with Harrisburg University and believe it has endless possibilities to bring significant advancements to the world,” he said.