Valve sees brain-computer interfaces as the future of gaming

Brain signal processing may allow a more adaptive and immersive gaming experience
Valve sees brain-computer interfaces as the future of gaming

Gaming technology firm Valve’s Founder Gabe Newell urged developers to undertake brain-computer interface (BCI) studies, predicting that they will drastically change the gaming industry. According to Newell, gamers might soon be able to control their in-game movements via brain wave transmission thanks to emerging research and development in the field of BCIs, writes tvnz.com.

In a recent interview, Newell also announced an open-source project in partnership between Valve and the OpenBCI developer community. The project will allow creators to study and improve brain-signal processing in conjunction with VR headsets to enhance the gaming experience.

Aerendir has suggested biometric BCIs could upgrade mobile authentication security, and Neurotechnology launched a development kit for brainwave biometrics last year.

According to Valve’s Newell, the scanning process involves brainwaves being read through sensors placed in a headset. The gathered signals can then be interpreted to improve the gaming experience. Currently, data is taken from a player’s brain and body can be used to determine the individual’s mental state. Excitement, boredom, surprise, and fear are only some of the emotions that can be captured using the proposed high-definition sensors.

Aside from allowing developers to personalize the gaming experience and make it more immersive, Newell also predicts that in the future these signals can be used to control in-game movements.

“We’re working on an open-source project so that everybody can have high-resolution [brain signal] read technologies built into headsets, in a bunch of different modalities,” Newell added, “If you’re a software developer in 2022 who doesn’t have one of these in your test lab, you’re making a silly mistake.”

Newell also predicts other applications resulting from BCI technology such as improved sleep and even emotional analysis and adjustments, at least some of which would presumably utilize brainwave data as biometrics. Asides from these benefits, he also added that BCIs are a vital element in improving artificial body parts.

The collaboration will allow Valve to incorporate OpenBCI products such as the planned Galea Headset to work in tandem with its signature Index VR headset.

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