Valve researches brain-computer interfaces for gaming

Valve explores the capabilities of brain-computer interfaces, among others, for gaming. Gabe Newell, the co-founder of that company, said in an interview with New Zealand’s 1News.

Valve explores the capabilities of brain-computer interfaces, among others, for gaming. Gabe Newell, the co-founder of that company, said in an interview with New Zealand’s 1News.

Newell tells 1News valve currently uses OpenBCI headsets to develop open source software. “We’re working on an open-source project so that everyone can get high-resolution read-out technologyĆ«n for brain signals built into headsets, in a lot of different ways,”

OpenBCI unveiled a new design such a brain interface, called Galea. Galea is intended to be integrated into VR or AR headsets and comes with SDCs to bring biometric data from Galilee to 3D engines, third-party software and “all common programming languages”.

The Valve chief executive himself says that the idea of brain-computer interfaces is ‘indistinguishable from science fiction’, but he also reports that it would be a ‘stupid mistake’ if developers did not experiment with them. Newell also reports that Valve does not market such a product in the short term. “The speed at which we learn things is so high that you don’t want to capture everything prematurely, build a product and go through all the approval processes, whereas in six months we have something that would have made a lot of other functions possible,”

Brain computer interfaces could be used in games, among other things. According to Newell, BCI’s will lead to gaming experiences that are much better than what a player can get through his eyes and ears. “The real world will no longer be the yardstick we use for the best possible visual fidelity.”

Out games, such brain-computer interfaces could improve different aspects of human life. Newell cites sleep as an example. “Sleep will be an app,” says the Valve executive. BCI’s would allow users to decide for themselves how long and how deep they want to sleep. Valve also contributes to projects that develop synthetic body parts in exchange for expertise.

Newell also highlights some of the risks of BCI’s. He calls the idea that a brain interface makes someone feel pain a “complicated subject,” with developers able to apply that feature to help users feel the pain of their in-game character. In addition, the Valve chief executive adds that BCI’s will also be susceptible to malware, just like other digital devices.

Gabe Newell and Valve previously talked about bci headsets for gaming. The executive told a interview with IGN for example, that ‘we are closer to The Matrix than people think’. Other large companies are also researching brain interfaces, including Neuralink, a company owned by Elon Musk.

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