OpenBCI raise funds to further biometric mixed reality platform development
Neurotech firm OpenBCI has announced a new investment of an undisclosed amount, attracting Bitkraft Ventures, re.Mind, and NaHCO3 to back its biometric and mixed reality (MX) technology.
The fresh funds will be utilized to further develop the company’s Galea platform, a hardware and software solution merging next-generation biometrics and MX. Specifically, OpenBCI says it will utilize the investment to scale its team in order to accelerate technological development and prepare Galea for limited pre-orders of beta units in early 2022.
The hardware and software platform was first announced in November 2020. From a technical standpoint, it is essentially a headset featuring several sensors capable of real-time biometric monitoring of users’ heart, skin, muscles, eyes, and brain activity.
The data thus acquired via biosensing and brain-computer interfacing (BCI) techniques can then be shared by individuals with healthcare, research, and entertainment firms.
Galea was developed in collaboration with Valve and Tobii, and according to OpenBCI, it will be capable in the future to track a user’s emotional and mental physiology during gameplay, for instance, and use this information to customize the elements of the game in real-time.
“This is the first time technology of this caliber has been put into the commercial space, and we believe it is the beginning of a novel relationship with the virtual worlds that surround us,” says Moritz Baier-Lentz, partner at Bitkraft Ventures.
Furthermore, OpenBCI said the technology could be used for other applications outside of the traditional business-to-consumer (B2C) sphere.
“The next generation of computers will be highly-personalized based on data collected from sensors like the ones in Galea,” says OpenBCI CEO Conor Russomanno. “With Galea, we are looking to create a powerful platform for the companies, developers, and researchers who are already exploring how these signals will be integrated into everyday devices. Our ultimate goal for the next era of OpenBCI is to play a major part in the creation of the ‘Operating System of the Mind.’”