This year, we celebrate X years of mbt, and on this occasion, our CEO Ivan Gligorijevic, has wrote some reflections on the first decade.
From the idea to the leading mobile EEG company.
When you have an idea, your child instincts expect support and praise. It is often easy to give that kind of support to your inner self, especially over a glass of beer in front of you and your creative friend. But often (almost always), supporting an idea asks for more than a tap on the back. It asks you to be a part of it, promote it, bare all the risks and maybe – if all things work out and all assumptions prove true, harvest the fruits of it. This is probably as close as it gets to describing the beginnings of mbt.
I often wonder where from was the self-confidence that mobile EEG will be “the thing”, that people will accept it, that we will obtain the grant to start it, that we will have the knowledge, strength and will to follow it through.
And even this August 21st, a full decade after mbt was born… it seemed almost surreal to think about celebrating 10 years of mbt – because our mission kept us too busy to zoom out and think about it.
For us, from the first moment, mobile EEG was not just about a new product and opportunities that come from a new research paradigm. We dreamed of, and still do, about bringing brain recordings to real life, because of our strong belief that we could all benefit from knowing how our brains work in real life. We believe that tracking our brain the way we track our hearts today would help us unlock the hidden potential of a human brain and the world we live in.
To get faster to where EEG should be… the first platform we used for recording brain data was not the computer – but mobile phone. This way, we sent our message across – we wait for a day – that is not too far – when brain data could be used as any other, in any situation. Of course, to make this dream come true, there were many steps and the timing never seemed right. Disregarding the latter, we worked in two directions: making any study setup possible and pushing EEG towards everyday use.
X years on, I can proudly say that we have moved the boundaries of what could be done in research setups – solving many challenges and making it possible to observe the human brain in the only relevant conditions – without superficial (over) simplifications. Low and high density EEG, recordings while moving, artifact rejection, hyperscanning (social studies). We have made several generations of mobile EEG devices, that converged to our Smarting PRO series, mobile EEG amplifiers that are sturdy, reliable and powerful enough that it is hardly possible to imagine something that they cannot do.
While still working with the niche of pioneers who believed that mobile EEG is possible (and the way to go in research) – we also kept pushing for its adoption in real-life. Ever since the introduction of behind the ear recordings in 2015, we were thinking how we can speed it up. This finally brought Smartfones, a consumer looking form factor that you can easily imagine in both free time and work environments. Successful experiments proving that the production can be optimized, reducing errors and risk prompted us to produce a brain reading industrial cap prototype to further examine the possible use cases for the coming industry 5.0.
But one thing that comes first (being intentionally put the last to emphasize its importance) is people who did all of this. For all this time, mbt has been a home – place where you see people with both high moral and professional standards, people you can rely on, and that you enjoy spending time with. This is what holds the vision alive in rainy days and what makes you want to jump out of the bed on Monday mornings.
We are more than eager to continue on our mission path, continue supporting our partners uncompromisingly and getting inspiration from them, continuously moving the boundaries of neuroscience. I can’t wait to see what next X years will bring.
In case you have not had a chance to see our PRO X launch video yet, you can find it here.