Neurable is a company driven by the implementation of BCI or brain-computer interface, a way to control computers through cerebral activity. The annual computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH is typically home to groundbreaking new tech and concepts and Neurable took their time at the conference as an opportunity to unveil a brain-computer interface for virtual reality headsets.
BCI, in general, has interesting implications across many platforms as it opens a lot of doors for accessibility and immersion. For VR specifically, it could potentially settle one of the ever evolving conversations happening as VR continues to grow: What type of input is the best type? Virtual reality is known for its incredible capability to immerse users, but having controllers in hands breaks that experience in some instances. Having some degree of control just by using your brain could influence the controller hurdle in a big way.
“We foresee an ecosystem of control inputs that will combine to make AR/VR environments incredibly responsive and adaptive to user behavior,” says Neurable Vice President Michael Thompson in the blog post for the reveal. “Great strides have already been made with motion capture, haptics, eye-tracking, and natural language processing. What has been missing is a serious effort to link mixed reality to the ultimate computing platform — the human brain.”
Neurable’s solution is an upgraded headband for the HTC Vive that can acquire brain signals. Their current example for this technology is a game called Awakening that casts you in the role of a child held captive in a government facility. Experiments you’ve undergone have given you psychic powers and your task is to use those powers to escape the lab, all without a single controller for input.
The Neurable blog post points to uses for this style of input outside of gaming as well, specifically the health and education industries along with many others. Essentially, the platform is wide open for experiments and Neurable is welcoming developers that are interested in creating experiences for it. Maybe someone will come up with a cool way to explain why getting married in VR is a bad idea.
Charles Singletary posted a new article, Neurable Reveals A Way To Control VR With Just Our Brains