Simon is an interactive wearable headset designed to read and translate the emotional state of users. SIMON records electrical activity in the brain via an EEG monitor. This data is transcribed into color, reflecting the user’s cognitive state (i.e. relaxed [blue], stressed [red], tired [yellow], focused [green], etc.). Colors based on neurological user averages is displayed by LEDS imbedded in the headset. Data is collected by the Simon mobile app and plots the sensibility of those who choose to engage with the system. Simon connects people, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, religion, etc. This empathy inducing platform disrupts a traditional social interactivity as it turns a user’s affect inside-out across lights inside the headset and visuals in the phone application. It shows the users a way to see kindred potentials across a sea of people otherwise withdrawn to their own private world. This transformative public art experience is made possible via a new and novel confluence of public art practice, scientific method, interface design and open source technologies. We hope to create an innovative space for users to find common ground in a world full of people increasingly defined by their differences.
SIMON at MakerFaire Ottawa
Simon was on display at MakerFaire Ottawa in 2017 as part of their Biopresence exhibition. Adafruit then featured Simon in an article entitled SIMON: The Empathy Inducing Headset as well as Makezine, which highlighted various works in the exhibition.