Be a part of a new era


Kernel Flow is a non-invasive, full-coverage, optical headset that can be used in nearly any environment for recording real-time cortical hemodynamics to establish precise patterns of brain activity. Flow is currently available for research and consumer markets.
Expected delivery is Q2 2022, see FAQ for pricing and additional information.
Hasan Ayaz
Professor at Drexel University, Biomedical Engineering
Hasan Ayaz
Professor at Drexel University, Biomedical Engineering

“We can use this to improve every day function on how we communicate with each other, how we do our work, how we play, and how we improve everyday life.

Lex Fridman
AI Researcher, Podcast Host
Lex Fridman
AI Researcher, Podcast Host

“The data would help encourage you to be more self aware, not just because you trust everything the data is saying but it will give you a prod to start investigating.”

Flow at Photonics West 2021

Watch (and read) technical presentations of Kernel Flow as part of this year's SPIE Photonics West Conference

Flow video

Accuracy and data quality

Kernel Flow provides a degree of accuracy, data quality, and ease of use with the potential to usher in a new era of discovery. The headset is lightweight, comfortable, and controlled with a straightforward, user-friendly interface.

Cloud integration

Kernel securely uploads and organizes recordings on Kernel's servers. Kernel Cloud includes a Researcher Portal where your data can be sorted, viewed, and analyzed directly (or integrated into third party analysis frameworks).

Privacy at its core

Your Brain Data. Your Control. Kernel empowers you to direct the storage and flow of your information. We employ a rigorous system to ensure all research participants provide explicit consent for use of their data and that studies comply with ethical standards.

Kernel Flow technology

Flow employs up to 52 dual-wavelength lasers paired with up to 312 ultra-sensitive optical detectors, all operating at 200hz. This allows Flow to identify the location of brain activity with extraordinary precision.
Time Domain Functional Near-infrared spectroscopy
690nm & 850nm
Dual-wavelength lasers
Source-detector channels
200 Hz
Sample frequency

How does it work?

Kernel Flow takes advantage of the relative transparency of the skull and brain tissue to near-infrared light by beaming photons through the skull and measuring their scattering and absorption, allowing inference about blood...
flow and oxygenation (hemodynamics). It offers the resolution and sensitivity of state-of-the-art hemodynamic systems across the top layers of cortical tissue but can be manufactured for only a few thousand dollars and is commercially scalable.

What is “time domain” fNIRS?

Traditional "continuous wave" (CW) fNIRS devices apply light to the head continuously, which then scatters throughout and is detected at various locations upon exiting the head. Changes in the detected light intensity allow inference of optical-property changes inside the head, like those resulting from neural activity. Time-domain systems like Kernel Flow capture a much richer signal by applying the light in short pulses and capturing precisely the arrival time distribution of scattered photons for each pulse. On average, photons that arrive later travel deeper through the tissue, which reveals additional depth-dependent information about the optical properties of the tissue — allowing for more detailed inference of brain activity.
Kernel has architected a new class of TD-fNIRS system that maintains the performance of research-grade systems while reducing the footprint to a small module. All of the components in the Flow optical modules are designed to leverage the well-established supply chains of the consumer electronics industry. Through a combination of low-cost and high-volume manufacturing, we will be able to achieve a scale of Flow systems that exceeds all existing research-grade fMRI, EEG, and fNIRS systems.
Kernel Flow has not yet been evaluated for clinical performance of use, accuracy, reliability, or effectiveness, and has not been validated for any particular use. For research use only. Not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.
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