Brain Wave-Reading Player Will Let People Control Spotify With Their Minds

Brain Wave-Reading Player Will Let People Control Spotify With Their Minds

Researchers have developed a brain-controlled music player to help improve the life of people with severely limited motor abilities.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 30 january 2014

Researchers at the University of Malta have created a music player that can be controlled by brain waves.

The research team, who are engineers from the Department of Systems and Control Engineering and the Centre for Biomedical Cybernetics, studied various ways to get the desired brain response to create the system. Users can control the music player just by looking at different flickering boxes on a computer screen. The brain activity is read via electroencephalography (EEG) or through electrodes placed on different locations on the person’s scalp. The EEG readings are then converted into computer commands — allowing the user to control the music player without touching it at all.


The system was developed by Rosanne Zerafa, supervised by Dr. Tracey Camilleri, and works by reading the unique brain patterns created when the user looks at specific boxes on the screen. By focusing their attention on boxes flickering at different frequencies, users can play music, increase or decrease the volume, or move on to the next track. The music player was tested on various users at the university’s Biomedical Engineering Laboratory.

The brain-controlled music player was developed to help improve the lives of people who suffer from severe motor disabilities or people who suffer from cerebral palsy or motor neuron disease.

Owen Falzon, a member of the research team presented the study in San Diego, California at the 6th International IEEE/EMBS Neural Engineering Conference.

University of Malta

Source: Times of Malta

Images: University of Malta

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