NextMind looks something out of a sci-fi movie with its ability to track our brain signal and control VR objects. Users need to wear a band on their head to allow electrodes sense their visual cortex. With your brain signal, it is possible to control any object inside the VR realm. Despite being an early development product, there’s an immense possibility and potential of the neural input technology. Numerous start-ups have different approaches to allow better control of VR Objects. Facebook acquitted CTRL-Labs in 2019 for its technology that allows an armband to send finger and hand inputs. Mudra is another company that makes a wristband accessory for Apple Watch that take neural inputs to control the smartwatch interface, without requiring users to move their fingers. This technology isn’t only convenient for regular users, but also for individuals with permanent disability.
When the neural technology becomes more mature, it should have excellent accuracy when using physical inputs for controlling VR objects. With Facebook’s recent acquisitions, we could see that the social network company will release wearables with neural inputs in a few years. The NextMind dev kit includes demo and tutorial. It supports macOS and Windows operating systems. It supports many VR wearables, including Oculus Quest with USB-C cable. Once properly connected, it will be much easier to use VR content. As an example, you can click virtual buttons by focusing on them. You may concentrate and open eyes more on the object, but eventually you will know how to click on the button without moving your hand.
At the moment, NextMind’s dev kit is for developers only and not available for average consumers. The Mudra Band is also still at experimental stage, but without doubt, it will be more usable and reliable. Despite promising results, the technology is not yet read for consumer-level implementations. In certain situations, the technology is not yet fully perfect when creating inputs. Wearable manufacturers may also combine neural input with voice recognition to further improve usability. As a non-invasive technology, NextMind is very easy to use and wear, which will revolutionize experience. The brain-computer interface isn’t a new concept, but it’s not yet ready for mass production. The industry isn’t ready to do away with VR pointers, keyboards, mice and joysticks.
Other for consumer-level usages, brain-computer interface is also very useful for professional uses. Doctors and engineers in manufacturing facilities can use neural control. This should allow people to work well with artificial intelligence and become more productive. Not only that the system can read neural connection, but it could also stream content directly to the brain. As an example, a chip called Neurolink could stream music directly to the brain. As mentioned above, the possibiltiies of this technology is obviously endless. It should greatly change the way we interact with the technology. The NextMind technology is non-invasive and it could be potentially ground-breaking during implementations.