Why Mobile EEG Is The Future

Mobile EEG is increasingly popular for researchers. Here we discuss the benefits of a portable EEG device over more conventional EEG systems.

History of EEG research

Electroencephalography (EEG) is a non-invasive technique to measure cortical neural activity. Since 1924, it has greatly increased our understanding of how the human brain processes information.

Initially, EEG devices were bulky machines that occupied an entire room. Nowadays, EEG systems are much smaller and more precise.

To this day, however, conventional EEG relies on multiple components, a lot of wires and a stationary set-up in a lab. Recent technological advances are changing this.

With mobile, wearable EEG, it is now possible to combine exceptional EEG data quality with a portable, compact device. And there are numerous reasons why this is a good thing.

Why ambulatory EEG beats normal EEG

Conventional EEG systems wire electrodes on the wearer’s head to an amplifier and a computer. This forces the wearer to remain seated and stationary throughout an experiment. There are a number of disadvantages to this kind of conventional set-up, including:

  • Conventional EEG is complex and takes a long time to set up. This can discourage students and researchers from using them.
  • Standard EEG systems require a lot of lab space.
  • Participants using stationary EEG set-ups often report discomfort, especially when they are asked to remain still during long experiments. This makes participants hard to recruit.
  • It is difficult to recruit certain populations, including children, ADHD patients, smokers, and institutionalized (forensic, geriatric) patients, if an experiment uses conventional EEG.
  • Conventional systems often have poor ecological validity. Participants are restricted to unnatural study conditions and a limited range of experiments (no freedom of movement, one lab, usually computer-based).
Conventional EEG set-up
Conventional EEG has participants sit still near a computer.

Portable EEG devices combat these problems. The advantages of mobile EEG include:

  • Ambulatory EEG solutions are cost-effective and easier to set-up.
  • They can be stored and taken anywhere.
  • They are more comfortable for study participants.
  • Wearble EEG systems allow the wearer to move and take breaks, so hard-to-recruit populations become open to research.
  • Mobile EEG devices can be used in a wide range of experiments and in more naturalistic environments. Studies can be conducted outside, where participants need not sit.

What is more, mobile EEG devices enable a range of new and exciting research paradigms:

  • Because of their small size, portable EEG devices can be shared across multiple research groups. Sharing devices decreases costs and allows different labs to compare their results directly.
  • Human interaction studies and simultaneous measurements are much easier with mobile EEG.
  • EEG data can be collected in new environments: outdoors, at home, practicing sports, driving.

Why choose Mentalab Explore EEG device?

Mobile bio-sensor technology is a great choice for researchers, but why choose Mentalab Explore?

One huge advantage of Mentalab Explore is its quick set-up. A quick-start guide, instruction videos, and a wealth of resources make the device almost plug-and-play.

You can achieve good impedance values with little preparation, and verify them in real-time using our explorepy API, which is open source. In fact, all our software is open source, so you can integrate our device with custom applications, like BCI and biofeedback.

Mentalab Explore, an EEG device
Mentalab Explore is the smallest and lightest EEG device on the market, and still packs a performance punch.

What is more, just like our source code, all your raw data is accessible at the touch of a button.

We don’t want researchers and technologists stuck behind a paywall to access their own data.

On top of all this, Mentalab Explore is optimized for high-end research and development, unlike other mobile devices. Stream and record any ExG signal (EEG, EMG, ECG, EOG) in high precision with 9-axis motion data included.

In conclusion, Mentalab Explore is extremely precise, flexible and mobile. Its reliable signal comes with a wealth of features, including an extensive battery life and file management. All this, and it is the most compact device on the market.

Mentalab Explore is a high-precision mobile ExG sensor solution. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us at