User input is a hot topic across the virtual reality industry as different entities try to curve motion sickness and find ways to better immerse audiences in these dynamic experiences. VR itself was a visual leap forward and Neurable is attempting to make such a leap for input by allowing users to control objects with their mind. A recent funding of $2 million that was announced in a press release will help them to continue research and development toward this end and we spoke via email with the Vice President of Business Development for Neurable, Michael Thompson, about the technology.
Neurable was shaped at the University of Michigan’s Direct Brain Interface lab where the CEO of the company, Ramses Alcaide, developed the foundation of the technology while working toward his PhD. It’s a wireless device that measures intent by using electroencephalography (EEG) to look at brain activity which is then analyzed using an AI. It then simplifies input by allowing people to control virtual and augmented reality interfaces with only their minds. “Specifically, Neurable enables users to open applications, scroll menus, select options or even type using only their brain,” Thompson says. “Neurable is extremely effective in environments where other methods of control such as controllers, hand gestures, or voice commands are not practical.” The tech could also be beneficial for people that aren’t physically capable of utilizing those types of controls as well.
Companies like Kraft Group, Boston Syndicate (who led the funding round), NXT Ventures, and more collaborated to bring in the $2 million which will be used in a very important first step for the company: Building the complete SDK (software development kit). This move will open up the door for ideas as developers use the SDK to create different experiences that take advantage of the unique control system, which will be platform agnostic and compatible with all major AR/VR headsets. The SDK will be released to select developers during the second half of 2017 so keep your eyes on UploadVR for more information as these new experiences come to fruition.