MindMaze announced today that it has recently closed an $8.5 million funding round for its “thought-powered VR game system” called MindLeap, a VR/AR headset that uses both electroencephalogram technology (EEG), and integrated 3D motion capture cameras for hand-tracking as a basis for game input.
MindMaze is a spin-off company from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL). The company’s headset, MindLeap, is meant to scan and then predict brain and muscle activity in the user via a web of sensing electrodes and head-mounted motion capture cameras, which according to the Switzerland-based company “unleashes the power of players’ minds to enhance gameplay and experiences in both virtual and augmented reality.”
MindLeap’s objective is to deliver an intuitive human-computer interface using their ‘medical grade technology’ that is being supervised by Olaf Blanke, scientific advisor to MindMaze and neurologist who has pioneered research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and virtual reality at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. According to Blanke, the technology behind MindLeap is “enabling a whole new era of neurorehabilitation and gamification by tapping into key neural signatures for unparalleled responsiveness.”
The company says their new VR/AR headset is coming to developers in late 2015 along with the MindLeap SDK, letting developers integrate the device into games and apps and allowing them to fully leverage the device’s supposed ability to trigger events with the mere act of intention.
“MindMaze puts your brain into the game. Never before have neuroscience, virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D full-body motion-capture come together in a games system. Gamers will be able to see, feel and experience virtual gameplay with absolutely no delay or need for controllers,” say Dr. Tej Tadi, founder and CEO of MindMaze.
It’s unclear how well the input solutions will work together along with the rest of the yet undisclosed specs on the VR/AR headset, or if it really will offer an intuitive interface between the headset and the user. We expect to get our hands on the technology soon to put it through its paces.