NeuroGoggles Let You Control VR with Your Mind
Using neural sensing and decoding techniques, Mindleap stands to make the virtual more real
Earlier this month, Swiss healthcare hybrid MindMaze announced its pioneering move into the VR and gaming spaces with MindLeap. Combining headset-mounted neural sensors and motion-capture cameras, the system is designed to “facilitate neuro-powered immersive virtual and augmented reality” on such consoles and platforms as XBOX, PlayStation, iOS and Android.
The system (shown in a preview video) leverages technology developed by the company for a range of medical applications in treating neurological deficits, such as helping amputees control robotic limbs.
MindLeap’s NeuroGoggles headset, which can be outfitted with up to 32 electrodes, harnesses the company’s proprietary neurotechnology engine to predict a player’s intent via neurological readings and coordinate this with tracked body movements.
Specifically, MindMaze’s paradigms detect the brain activity which initiates real life movement and synchronize it with the depiction of that movent onscreen, and with only milliseconds of lag time— quicker than our body’s own.
In a press release, MindMaze CEO and founder Dr. Tej Tadi explained that this combination of neuroscience, virtual reality, augmented reality, and 3D full-body motion-capture will allow gamers to see, feel and experience virtual gameplay with absolutely no delay or need for controllers,” and put their “[brains] in the game” in new ways.
Tadi explained to PSFK via email that, looking ahead, MindMaze will make its neurotechnology engine available to game developers via an SDK and to gamers via its head-mounted display and 3D motion capture cameras. Tadi noted that the team first plans to implement the tech in first-person shooter games, “where you can monitor performance and emotion to induce new gameplay.” He explained,
In case of too many hostile elements, the engine decodes your mental states to engage in different possibilities, [such as] disppear for a moment, make things go in slow motion, [or] change perspectives.
Additionally, the motion capture system lets you visualize your body in the games so you believe more that the virtual world/game is real when you see your body in it.
In addition to creating a more immersive and responsive gaming experience, MindLeap can also reportedly help train gamers’ brains toward greater efficiency. As the platform “decodes neural activity” and translates it to a 3D avatar slightly before the person’s actual arm moves, their brain may learn, it seems, to allow faster and more responsive moments (making for better gaming and IRL actions).
“Now we can get a mental health factor into it,” Tadi told GamesBeat. “You’re training the brain, you’re monitoring the brain at the same time. And that can add a whole new element to games. Content creators now have a whole plethora of things to do—it’s incredible.”