Will the game that can be played with "just thinking" become the future of VR?
A headset that can control objects with brain wavesYaA robot arm that can be moved freely just by thinkingSuch programs and devices that directly connect human thought and machine movement by detecting brain waves are called "Brain machine interface(BMI) ". In recent years, BMI has attracted attention in the medical and IT industries, but also in the game industry "game that you can play by thinking" is being developed.
A Game You Can Control With Your Mind - The New York Times
Ramses Alcaide, an electrical engineer and neuroscientist, was establishedNeurableIs a company that is researching and developing VR content that can be played by reading the things the user is thinking in mind without thinking without using hands etc. Actually there is no actual controller or joystick, We have developed a VR game that makes it possible to operate.
In order to play this game, it is necessary to incorporate a sensor that can detect the brain waves of the user into the VR headset. Also, even with a VR headset that can detect brain waves, there is a limit to what can be done, and if the idea floating in your head is not narrowed down, it seems that you can not read what you want to do exactly.
Still, this electroencephalogram detection VR headset is working well, in fact the writer of the New York Times plays a game called "Awakening". In addition, Neurable was held in August 2017SIGGRAPH 2017It seems that when you participated in the VR game that hundreds of players think and operate by mind.
Below you can see that the movie at that time is working properly.
HTC Vive Modified With Neurable Reads Your Mind At SIGGRAPH - YouTube
In recent years, a large number of startups and large companies such as Facebook are all working on research on BMI which manipulates objects by just thinking like Neurable. BMI has the potential to be the best way to operate in VR and Professor Ed Boden, a specialist in biotechnology and brain cognitive science at MIT Media Lab, said, "The neurotechnology industry has become more lively" , Mentioning that this field has gained attention not only in the game industry but also in the game industry.
The growing interest in neurotechnology seems to be getting more active from the Obama administration started in 2013 from the "movement of government financing to cooperate with brain interface related companies and academia". After that, many neurotechnology related startups, such as "Neuralink" by Ellon Mask, known as Tesla and Founder of Space X besides Neurable, gathered interest from venture capital. Founder of Loup Ventures, one of the venture capital investing in Neurable, said, "Smart phones have reached the limits of what they can do - these companies (BMI related companies) will be the next step "I left a comment on the New York Times
Some companies are planning to develop even more advanced technologies and some companies want to build a way to execute almost all computing tasks by thinking in mind. For example, what kind of things can be done is usually that you can immediately execute tasks such as character input by sliding your finger on the screen of the smartphone. Also, Mr. Tesla's maskSome interviewsSays that Neuralink is seeking ways to realize BMI by embedding hardware in the skull of a healthy person.
In contrast, Neurable based in Boston is challenging the limits of EEG headsets. The sensor attached to the headset is not something to embed the electrode on the actual user's head, but only to read the electrical brain activity from the outside of the skull. It seems to be very difficult to separate the signal and noise to detect from the outside of the head. However, by using Neurable's founder Alcaide, the algorithm created in the research conducted as a student, it is possible to read the activity of the brain with the speed and precision that is impossible normally It is going to be.
Mr. Alcaide's algorithm created in the research is to more accurately detect brain waves caused by specific actions by learning patterns of electroencephalograms from user behavior. Before actually installing a VR headset and actually playing the game, a user performs a test like a tutorial, in which the user concentrates his / her attention on the object, thereby concentrating on the object It learns what kind of signal is emitted from the brain, and it increases the precision at the time of game play. Alcaide says, "We recognize the signal of a particular brain and once we recognize it we will be able to use it."
The prototype of the brain wave detection VR head set produced by Neurable was only made by using HTC's VIVE as the headset part and combining seven brainwave sensors with this, we used any special equipment at all not.
In addition, some companies aim to be more than Neurable is working on. For example, Facebook is developing a way to optically read the activity of the brain from outside the skull. About this technology Facebook's Regina Dugan says, "What if you could let you directly type in letters from your brain?", Saying "Thinking can be input five times faster than using a smartphone keyboard" We are planning the development of the input system we used ".
However, the technique that Mr. Dugan imagined goes far beyond the current research area, and many neuroscientists say, "In order to realize this speed, there is no choice but to embed the device in the skull "I claim it. However, as in the case of Neuralink by Mr. Mask mentioned above, researches on implantable BMI technology are progressing steadily, and already in the medical field, by implanting electrodes and the like in the brain, treatment of symptoms such as blindness, hearing loss, paralysis Attempts are being made.
A woman who freely manipulates a robot arm with "just thinking" also successfully skips a stealth fighter F-35 - GIGAZINE