What if a VR headset did more than just hold your virtual business meeting in a rainforest with goofy avatars? What if while you’re in the metaverse, uh, metaversing, your VR headset was able to scan your brain and body for valuable information? That’s what Brooklyn-based neurotechnology company OpenBCI hopes to do in the open beta of its new VR headset.
The Varjo Aero is a professional-grade VR and XR (extended reality) headset that claims to be the “world’s first device that simultaneously measures the user’s heart, skin, muscles, eyes and brain”. The headset will work on the gallerya software and hardware platform that uses brain-computer interface technology to work on head-mounted displays.
At a glance, the Varjo Aero looks like a typical wireless VR headset, but the Galea version of the headset adds a series of soft, dry EEG electrodes along with a headband and bezel. All designed to collect all sorts of information about your body when you use the headset that is powered by Galea software.
Vargo says all the sensors “dramatically simplify the process of collecting synchronized data from the body and unlocking new techniques for anyone looking to objectively measure user experiences and cognitive states.”
OpenBCI hopes developers will be able to use the SDKs for the Galea-equipped headsets to work in various applications, from gaming to medical fields, with Varjo Aero’s ability to collect biometric data. In theory, this will allow developers to do things like see your heart rate increase during a scary horror game or brain activity during a puzzle game.
“Ultimately, I see the combination of neurotechnology and mixed reality as the future of personal computers,” says OpenBCI CEO Conor Russomanno. “We have been closely watching how neuroscience, BCI and consumer technology have converged in recent years.”