Arcades are going to get something new and cool this year with a game called “Awakening.” The game is a virtual reality title that has players wearing a headset. There are no controls, the entire game is controlled with your mind. Yes, a mind-controlled virtual reality video game.
The character that players will control is a child who wakes up in a lab of some sort with objects lying on the floor that flash. To control the game the player focuses on one of those objects and can then focus on other objects to make them interact. For instance, the player can focus on a block and then throw it into a mirror to get a code needed to open the door.
The tech inside the headset includes a brain-scanning headband attached to the VR device. The headband works with software to interpret the neural signals in the brain. The company behind the control system is called Neurable and naturally, the company thinks its controllers are the next big thing in VR.
Neurable likens its system to a brain mouse. The bulky headband has seven electrodes that record EEG signals from the brain. The device looks for a type of signal called an event-related potential. The objects in the game flash with pulsing light. The brain recognizes the flash pattern and then specific neurons fire in response allowing the control system to know what the player wants to do.
For now, these event-related potential signals are all scientists can pick up. They can’t yet know when the user is thinking “move the block to the left” for example. The company sees this tech as a first step and eventually expects to integrate all the electrodes into a set of earbuds.