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OpenBCI Announces Brain-Computer Interface Designed Specifically for VR/AR Headsets


OpenBCI, the neurotech company behind the eponymous open-source brain-computer interface (BCI), are making a new hardware and software platform specifically for immersive headsets.

Called Galea, the company says its new hardware is designed to attach to both AR and VR headsets, arriving with a multiple sensors designed to monitor biometric data streams in real time.

Galea is said to include a bevy of sensors, such as electroencephalogram (EEG), electrooculography (EOG) electromyography (EMG), electrodermal activity (EDA), and photoplethysmography (PPG) sensors, which are intended to measure data from the brain, eyes, heart, skin, and muscles.

OpenBCI hardware | Image courtesy OpenBCI

The company says Galea will allow researchers and developers to measure “human emotions and facial expressions” including happiness, anxiety, depression, attention span, and interest level—and use it to create more immersive content tailored to the individual. The idea is very similar to what we heard from Valve’s resident experimental psychologist Dr. Mike Ambinder during last year’s GDC talk on how BCI will change the nature of game design.

OpenBCI says it will provide researchers and developers early access to Galea, intended for commercial and research applications. Galea will also include SDKs to bring its stream of biometric data into “common development environments,” the company says.

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