Neurable has been at SIGGRAPH this week showing off their brain-computer interface (BCI) hooked up to a HTV Vive VR headset. They have produced a game called “Awakening” that has been blowing peoples minds.
IEEE Spectrum: Tell me about this game you’re showing off at SIGGRAPH.
Ramses Alcaide: We’re showing off a VR game called Awakening that you play with your mind. In the game, you actively pick up objects with your mind, you stop lasers with your mind, you turn a robot dog into a balloon animal. It’s a completely hands-free experience, you don’t use any controllers.
In the game you’re a child, you wake up inside a cell, and you’re trying to escape a government lab. There are items around you that kids would normally play with, like blocks. As you focus your attention on different items you interact with them, and you then discover clues on how to escape the room. Then you get to another room and battle robots and do other stuff. All the interactions—locomotion, grabbing objects, fighting robots—they’re all done hands-free.
Spectrum: How are people responding to the game demos?
Alcaide: We’ve had an amazing response. A lot of people come in highly skeptical, because BCI has been a disappointment so many times before. But as soon as they grab an object, there’s a smile that comes over their faces. You can see the satisfaction that it really works.