A P300-based Quantitative Comparison between the Emotiv Epoc Headset and a Medical EEG Device

Matthieu Duvinage, Thierry Castermans, Thierry Dutoit, Mathieu Petieau, Thomas Hoellinger, Caty De Saedeleer, Karthik Seetharaman, and Guy Cheron


Brain-Computer Interfaces, Emotiv Epoc Headset, Hardware comparative study, P300


EEG-based systems have been the most widely used in the field of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) for two decades. Plenty of applications have been proposed from games to rehabilitation systems. Until recently, EEG recording devices were too expensive for an end-user. Today, several low-cost alternatives have appeared on the market. The most sophisticated of these low-cost devices is the Emotiv Epoc headset. Some studies reported that this device is suitable for customers in terms of performance. However, none of the previous studies reported to what extent the Emotiv headset is working well compared to a medical system. The aim of this paper is thus to scientifically compare a medical system and the Emotiv Epoc headset by determining their respective performances in the context of a P300 BCI paradigm. In this study, seven healthy subjects performed P300 experiments and two different conditions were studied: sitting on a chair and walking on a treadmill at constant speed. Results show that the Emotiv headset, although able to record EEG data and not only artifacts, is sometimes significantly worse than a medical system. Those results suggest that the design of a specific low-cost EEG recording systems for rehabilitation purposes at a low price is still required.

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