Emotiv EPOC+ Raw Data

Obtaining data from various hardware devices
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Emotiv EPOC+ Raw Data

Post by fritz »


I recently purchased an Emotiv EPOC+, and I would like to collect raw data of the 16 individual channels using OpenViBE. This is unavailable simply using the free software that comes with the headset, which includes tracking of facial expressions and six performance metrics.

Is there any way to collect raw data without purchasing additional subscriptions from Emotiv?

It seems from what I am reading I would need the "Research" edition SDK from Emotiv, but it looks as if they have renamed their software. Should I be looking for the "Community" or "Premium" SDK?

Thank you!

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Re: Emotiv EPOC+ Raw Data

Post by jtlindgren »

Hi Fritz,

noting that there seems to be just two SDKs available, and knowing that the community SDK is not sufficient and that the Premium SDK promises to give raw data, logic suggests its the latter you want. :)

Some earlier discussion of the dimensions involved,


My summary guess (please correct if wrong) is that to use Emotiv EPOC with OpenViBE at all:

- you need the research version of the headset (read: more expensive)
- you need premium version of the SDK (read: more expensive)

I think in the past the earlier implied the latter, but perhaps this is no longer the case. We don't have support for the community SDK as its utility is perhaps a bit limited outside neurofeedback or toy applications (and I don't know much about the different EPOCs hws, we only have old Research Eds at the Inria lab). If anybody wants to contribute a community SDK driver, it can of course be considered for integration to OpenViBE.


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Using openvibe with Emotiv

Post by Dr.Charlene »

Hi, I am new to this forum, but I see there is a discussion re Emotive and Openvibe. I have purchased the EMOTIV EPOC EEG 14 channel ($799 version) to conduct some research. I have been battling to find software that can read the data. And learned that now you HAVE to use the EMOTIV software (and pay for it monthly or annually). I am not a tech person, and have found this journey really frustrating.

Really like the OpenVibe software and wanted to know if it is still possible to connect OpenVibe to EMOTIV EPOC?

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Re: Emotiv EPOC+ Raw Data

Post by jtlindgren »

Hello Charlene, please see earlier conversation in this topic,


Perhaps some community member can give information regarding new Emotiv devices (or the company itself, sounds like basic customer service to provide information what the device can do or cannot do). We don't have newer Emotivs at Inria/Rennes.


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Re: Emotiv EPOC+ Raw Data

Post by LeeFX »

It is a hazzle trying to get a grasp on Emotiv Software... I'll try to summarize what I remember after all these years:

In the past there have been Community SDKs and Advanced / Research / Developer / Premium SDKs (they renamed it frequently). There have also been Community EPOCs (hardware locked) and Research EPOCs (unlocked for Raw Data).

In the future everything will be replaced with the new Cortex Licensing API, including subscription models and PRO licensing. Free plans will probably also be available in some way. The Community SDK will be discontinued after 2018. Probably Cortex wrappes the Emotiv SDK in some way, so the functionality under the hood might be very similar. But I am not sure if capturing Raw-Data from Cortex with Openvibe will be straight forward (online-login, etc.), eventually a driver has to be (re)written for Openvibe.


(I) The Community SDK does not provide Raw Data access.

(II) The Community SDK does provide pre-processed Frequency Band-Data (correct me if I'm wrong)
Reference: (https://emotiv.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/art ... cess-them-, but the article might be outdated!)

(III) The Community SDK always provides Suite-Data. Though the underlying internal processing of the suites is a well kept secret, so it lacks scientific comparability and scientific as well as practical usage cannot be verified.

(IV) emokit and CyKITv2 'might' still provide Raw Data for many years now by reverse engineering. (Might be a reason for Emotiv from moving the SDKs to the even more strict licensing). These tools still might be a way to get offline Raw-Data, but someone else should comment on that. It was possible to get Raw-Data with an old Research SDK, an old Research EPOC and OpenVibe - this shouldn't be possible nowadays, I guess, because of the forced 'always-online' policies.

(Current Situation: Emotiv + Openvibe)

The Openvibe Emotiv driver is pretty old and used to the old Research SDKs for Raw-Data access - Emotiv nowadays requires cloud verification to unlock Raw-Data access. On the other hand, Openvibe is made to process mainly RAW DATA, therefore preprocessed Band- or Suite-Data is probably not accessible with openvibe (correct me if I'm wrong). To use the Community SDK there was a Unity Plugin for Emotiv, but I think it is outdated. There is our UE4-BCI-Plugin of course, but we didn't have a look at cortex to date.


Emotivs software and licensing policies have always been a hazzle and I do not think that this will get better in the future, or at least it'll be very pricy and very restrictive. Which is very sad, because the Emotiv hardware has always been very promising. We are experimenting with the Muse and it is a more pleasant experience overall, but lacks a more complex sensor placement compared to the EPOC headset (EPOC is missing Cz for whatever reason, which is one of the most popular and investigated sensor positions, therefore either C3 and C4 need to be averaged or the EPOC has to be placed in some other unstandardized manner to measure Cz). For the better valued Researcher, who has no issues with the subscription payment models and the fact that your hardware is not truly yours anymore and who is also mostly recording offline data, Emotiv hardware is still an option.


Here is a documentation on routing CyKITv2 to Openvibe,
which should be a relatively smooth workflow for processing Raw Data
(maybe someone can confirm this)
https://github.com/CymatiCorp/CyKITv2/b ... penViBE.md

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Re: Emotiv EPOC+ Raw Data

Post by brunobaygoncalves »


If you are still struggling with this, please take a look at the CyKit3 repository at github (link below). I use it to connect my EPOC+ to OpenVibe:

I believe there is only one problem: it only gets the EEG from 14 channels (the 2 reference channels P3 and P4 were put aside - as far as I could understand their job).
If you have any problems on using it, please post your questions here or just pm me if you prefer like that.

Best regards and good luck,


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