October 17, 2022.
Naxon Labs Neurotechnology Ecosystem
Neurotechnology is here, for everyone, and the ecosystems is growing. We aim to explore the frontiers of the brain, measuring emotions and simplifying brain-computer applications. As a team of professionals in the areas of cognitive neuroscience, psychology, neurophysiology, medicine, computer engineering and information technology, we have been connecting with many stakeholders in the world, looking to promote the use of neurotechnology making it easy and in an affordable way. This brings a growing ecosystem where Naxon Labs is involved and aims to grow significantly. We bring some examples in this note.
After several brainstorming sessions about how neuroscience and artificial intelligence could converge, in 2019 Naxon Labs thought in starting with the creation of Naxon Explorer, an affordable and useful tool and neurofeedback system for researchers in neuroscience, psychology, medicine, engineering and information technology. It was conceived with Naxon Labs' purpose of opening to the world the possibilities of researching the brain.
One recent development in BCI has been the creation of portable EEG devices that connect to a computer, tablet or smartphone through Bluetooth, that can really expand the development of applications given this connectivity, and the low cost and non-invasiveness qualities of the device.
The new portable devices typically have fewer electrodes, but have the advantage of rapid setting, without the need to use gels and be in a lab, are much cheaper, they can be used in different settings and connect wirelessly to a computer device for example. Naxon Labs had tested several devices and found the best fit in the Muse devices manufactured by Interaxon Inc. in Canada.
After some time, Naxon Labs would become Muse Ambassadors and exchanged ideas with several Interaxon’s employees.
With the help of ANII, the National Agency for Research and Innovation in Uruguay, Naxon Labs started to create Naxon Explorer. Ximena Camaño, Manager of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ANII, said that currently, the agency's role is that of a strategic ally with respect to a company that wishes to innovate and, therefore, must "assume a risk" when doing so. "ANII is the ideal partner because it shares financing risk" with the company, so that the organization innovates and gains momentum, she said. “By granting subsidies that are not reimbursable, we are minimizing the risk of wanting to innovate, of doing something different and of trying”.
EagerWorks become a key partner of Naxon Labs neuroscientists. Together analyzed the flow of the raw data coming from Muse devices and assembled all data equalized in nice dashboards that enable professionals to record sessions, play them as they need and make annotations. This included the integration of the device through Bluetooth, showing it in real time, working with the cloud platform and backend applications, and doing the analysis of the raw data and its conversion.
By May 2020 Naxon Labs launched the Brain to Computer Interface solution to explore the mind: Naxon Explorer. With Naxon Explorer you can visualize, record and analyze brain activity with wireless EEG technology. It incorporates features to organize projects, clients or participants, at the same time you can attach notes, synchronize events and change parameters during recordings. Using this technology, you can save time with automatic blink and artifact detection and display in real time brain wave frequencies per channel or by average. The data captured can be downloaded for further analysis with tools like MATLAB, Brainstorm or EEG Lab. The device can be connected from a PC, a MAC or a tablet with Bluetooth.
Naxon Labs started to participate in many global events and created a lot of global connections. Since 2020 Naxon Labs has been participating in the Singapore Slingshot one of Asia’s most exciting deep tech startup encounters. In 2020 Naxon Labs was selected as one of the TOP 500 Global Startups to pitch in Agorize's Slingshot competition. Thanks to this experience, Naxon Labs became part of the Agorize startup community and had access to global startup challenges held by Fortune 500 companies around the world. Astellas Rx+™ Healthcare Innovation Challenge was looking for a technological solution to improve the quality of life of sensory-disabled individuals and people with restricted access to medical care. In the HealthTech, BioTech and MedTech track, Naxon Labs proposed a solution to improve patient outcomes in hospitals’ intensive care units by enhancing patient monitoring capabilities and predicting patient deterioration for early intervention. Many could think that this is something that requires substantial equipment and technology, but only with the use of a Muse device and Naxon Explorer, the brain states of patients can be monitored in real time.
In December 2020 Naxon Labs confirmed additional support from ANII, the National Agency for Research and Innovation in Uruguay to develop Naxon Emotions, a platform aiming to monitor, classify, and provide feedback for mental and emotional states. Using Explorer as a basis and by wearing the EEG portable device like Interaxon’s Muse, Emotion would be able to read people’s emotions and cognitive states and translate brain information into objective visual markers of these states. This instrument would allow psychologists and cognitive scientists to measure behavioral responses, providing real time feedback and speeding diagnosis.
In this case, Naxon Labs participated in ANII’s program with the help of Initium, an organization in Universidad de Montevideo led by Josefina Maisonnave Aishemberg. Initium promotes the development of leadership, innovation, through courses, programs, and direct services to support entrepreneurs. This organization seeks to promote the entrepreneurial culture as a way of life that people can apply at work, sports, personal activities and develop it within the family and friendship. It also promotes innovation in the Universidad de Montevideo and other institutions through methodologies, aiming to add continuous value and make them different to survive over time.
Naxon Labs also received internships from Universidad de Montevideo to extend the use of EEG devices. The assignments included the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to understand and map neural activity. Bulk data coming from the EEG devices is being processed and used for training under different scenarios that help to detect emotional states. At the same time, with a trained neural network, a real time data interface will show these emotions - coming from a person - recorded in the EEG data. This would result in a very helpful outcome for Naxon Emotions product development.
In another row, Naxon Labs made an enormous headway by its integration with NeurotechX and the Latam Chapter. The first one is a non-profit organization, leader in local and worldwide technological initiatives. Its mission is to facilitate the advancement of neurotechnology by providing key resources and learning opportunities, and they stand on three pillars: “Community”, “Education”, and “Professional Development”. The association of NeurotechX and Naxon Labs brought to light the interest of many people in Latin America that are now helping and supporting the conception of the Latam Chapter. Mohit Patil, who did his Master's degree, Electrical and Computer Engineering (Signals and Systems) in the University of Florida, contributed significantly to the expansion of NeurotechX and promoted the Latam Chapter across several countries. Bruno Bustos and Andrés Rodríguez Lejsek were among the founders of the Latam Chapter of NeurotechX.
In the Faculty of Psychology of the University of the Republic of Uruguay. Federico Romano, Naxon Labs Co-Founder, actively worked with potential users of Naxon Explorer intending to test and validate the use of the platform for different applications.
Using the portable EEG headband Muse and Naxon Explorer, Regina Miraldo, a graduate researcher in ORT University in Uruguay, worked with Emotions classification of participants who watched a standard ad aimed at women versus a novel ad under the framework of “femvertising” (advertising that is carried out in favor of women, with messages and images that empower women and girls). Using statistical data analysis, Regina was able to distinguish different brain responses in the participants according to which type of ad they were looking for. This provided Naxon Labs with valuable insights into developing our product Naxon Emotions (How can neurotechnology help in marketing?)
On a separate track, investigations were held on how to identify different EEG data patterns that could trigger commands for applications, like manipulating devices or generating instructions. EEG devices can also provide data from an oscilloscope or detect artifact data like muscle movement in the face. Naxon is also working to find different levels of thinking and mind states that could be produced intentionally, which once detected as a pattern can be mapped as a command. These initiatives led to a collaboration with a group of students from the ORT University in Montevideo, Uruguay. For this project, the students started to ideate an innovative way of processing EEG data for new applications by getting the combination of voltages that allows to distinguish ocular activity – like detecting the blink of the eyes and differentiate one from another- and distinguishing the mandibular activity – like detecting the opening of the mouth or the moves of the jaw to both sides. This effort concluded in a first version of Naxon Fabulari, a new initiative for developing forms of communication or control through brain-computer interface technology for people with disabilities. With the help of a low-cost EEG device, which in addition to capturing brain waves can detect facial movements, a person can associate a pattern with a message or action. In this way a person can communicate a phrase or control connected external devices through a gesture (Communication through brain-computer interface technology for people with disabilities).
Another feature for Naxon Explorer came in 2021, marking brain reaction to external stimulus through new Naxon Explorer API. With Naxon Labs platform and an EEG device like Interaxon’s Muse, you can create a mark derived from an external event in a sequence of brain activity expressed in waves. Naxon Explorer is a useful tool and neurofeedback system for researchers in Neuroscience, Psychology and Medicine. You can record brain data, get measurements and sessions data that will let you use machine learning and automatic pattern analysis. With the new API, you can analyze brain behavior and its response to an external activity. For example you can expose the brain to certain activity at the same time you inform Naxon Explorer through an API to register the moment accurately. With this, you can analyze the continuous brain waves and check what was the impact of the external event in the brain activity.
Among the pioneers using this functionality we highlight a Spanish team from the UIB (Universitat de les Illes Balears), which is working a lot in BCI and RV / AR. They had several projects, and one of the Virtual Reality applications is to evaluate the emotional state of the person and modulate it, for example to control chronic pain in diseases. To do this, they use physiological parameters (heart rate, EDA, etc.).
The UIB research team has been working a lot in BCI and VR / AR. They have several projects where they normally apply technology to therapeutic subjects. They have used these technologies with children with CP, Autism, ADHD, etc. Recently they were involved in a national project for the Elderly and social robots. One of the applications of VR was intended to assess the emotional state of the person and modulate it, for example to control chronic pain in diseases. For this, they use physiological parameters (heart rate, EDA, etc). The team also used EEG addressing the challenges of using a VR headset with an EEG headband.
The Naxon Explorer API led to strengthen the collaboration with the UIB (Universitat de les Illes Balears ), collaborating with the research team that worked with virtual reality and electroencephalography for modulation of emotional states through visual and auditory stimulus. Combining Virtual Reality and EEG technologies, by adding visual and auditory stimulus, Iker López has created a software application for the modulation of emotional states with binaural waves and neurofeedback techniques.
As part of his graduation work as Computer Science Engineer in the Escola Politècnica Superior of Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB), Iker López de Suso Sánchez developed a software application motivated by providing technological support for mental health care, combining software games with Unity and Virtual Reality. Iker worked under the supervision of Dr. Francisco José Perales López and Dr. José María Buades Rubio in the program 2020/2021 in the city of Palma, Majorca, Spain.
2021 ended with FIBRAS in Uruguay, to promote projects of social impact and technology. Naxon Labs became part of Fibras as a founding member, an ecosystem made up of several organizations in Uruguay joining forces to create social impact through different disciplines. On November 29th, 2021, Fibras became an official Civil Association: an ecosystem where people, companies and organizations come together to support and accelerate projects and ideas using technology as a platform to generate social impact in the following dimensions:
The projects that are being promoted by Fibras and their members can be explored at
During April 2022, Naxon Labs attended the Campus Party in Punta del Este, as a featured tool in the booth of Presenza. This is the largest technology event in the world, bringing together 83 editions in 15 countries, where youngsters, companies, communities, and various institutions come together to live an incredible experience of innovation and creativity. The event took place from March 31st to April 2nd, 2022, at the Convention Center in Punta del Este, Uruguay, and gathered about 9,000 people. Presenza is an ecosystem that aims to democratize access to psychotherapy. This space provides tools to psychologists and patients to grow according to their needs and preferences, that is why they offer services such as psychotherapy, psychodiagnosis, vocational guidance, or neuropsychological evaluation.
In this Campus Party’s edition, Presenza’s representatives received countless visits at the stand, where those interested were able to perform a one-minute guided meditation -individually-, reaching high deep relaxation levels. In addition, thanks to the use of the Muse headbands and the Naxon Explorer platform, they were able to analyze the levels of dispersion and relaxed attention of the participants. Federica Ferrari and Lucia Mateu, Co-Founders of Presenza said: “We truly feel that marrying psychology and technology ultimately benefits greatly all the people getting treatment. Tools like Naxon Labs’ empower people by giving them factual information about their integral health status and providing treatment suggestions and mindfulness tips”.
They also talked about mental health and neuroscience, and informed on the application of technology in these areas. They explained how biofeedback is obtained, what are its benefits, and how it impacts in terms of rights and accessibility. Federica and Lucia added that “Naxon Labs shares our love for wellness and democratizing mental health accessibility, so working with them was a no brainer and we were fascinated by people's response to Muse’s headbands and Naxon’s user friendly interpretative software. It was amazing to see people connect over mental health and we hope to keep doing it over and over”.
Another interesting research in Europe has been started at the University of Aveiro in Portugal. Under the direction of Rui Raposo in the Department of Communication and Art, a team has been researching with the application of Virtual Reality in Reminiscence therapy combining Naxon Labs products.
In future notes we will talk more about these and new initiatives, Brain Gyms, internships in the Middle East, universities and featured users in North America, Europe and Asia, and more EEG devices integrated with Naxon Labs tools.