MindMaze Announces $8.5 Million in Angel Funding; MindLeap Game System Driven by Players’ Brainwaves
GAME DEVELOPERS CONFERENCE – Today MindMaze, a neurotechnology company, unveiled the industry’s first thought-powered virtual reality (VR), augmented reality and motion capture game system, MindLeap. The system is based on MindMaze’s proprietary, medically-proven neurotechnology engine, which detects and predicts brain and muscle activity to trigger real-time immersive virtual experiences. Combining neural sensing with embedded motion capture cameras, MindLeap unleashes the power of players’ minds to enhance gameplay and experiences in both virtual and augmented reality. With near millisecond synchronization, MindLeap will be the quickest system on the market, bringing a new level of performance for virtual reality.
In the coming months, MindLeap’s neurotechnology engine will be available to game developers via an SDK and to gamers via a novel head mounted display (HMD), which consists of first-of-its-kind “NeuroGoggles” and 3D motion capture cameras. MindLeap will introduce a whole new way for gamers to engage and experience gameplay within the games they already love – not only seeing their bodies/avatars in their games’ virtual worlds, but triggering events with their intention.
MindLeap will facilitate neuro-powered immersive virtual and augmented reality on multiple games consoles and platform types, including XBOX, PlayStation, iOS and Android. Using proprietary neuroscience paradigms, MindMaze enables thought-driven gameplay mechanics and experiences without the need for a controller. Its HMD and wireless 3D cameras enable real-time mapping of player behavior and movements to avatars, rendering instant reaction via virtual reality within gameplay even on tablet and mobile devices.
“MindMaze puts your brain into the game. Never before have neuroscience, virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D full-body motion-capture come together in a games system. Gamers will be able to see, feel and experience virtual gameplay with absolutely no delay or need for controllers,” said Dr. Tej Tadi, founder and CEO of MindMaze. “The technology will enable game developers to deliver responsive virtual games experiences, further immersing gamers into the gameplay and creating opportunities for deeper levels of engagement with consumers.”
The company also announced today that it has recently closed an $8.5 million funding round to accelerate commercialization of its neurotechnology engine. The funds will be used to build on the company’s previous work in the medical field, where it has deployed no-latency VR to accelerate recovery for patients suffering from a wide range of neurological deficits. For instance, MindMaze can train amputees to control virtual and robotic limbs and help stroke victims rediscover motor functions. These breakthrough capabilities are made possible by near millisecond synchronization and integration of huge amounts of body and brain data. With today’s introduction, MindMaze delivers proven, medical-grade technology to gamers so they can sense and feel in virtual reality for the very first time, unleashing the power of their mind and body to control games.
“MindMaze is enabling a whole new era of neurorehabilitation and gamification by tapping into key neural signatures for unparalleled responsiveness,” commented Olaf Blanke, scientific advisor to the company, and a renowned neurologist who has pioneered research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and virtual reality at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.
MindMaze’s virtual reality system, MindLeap, will be available in late 2015. To sign up for more information and to be notified once units become available please go to www.mindmaze.ch/vr/.
MindMaze is pioneering the use of neurotechnology in games, allowing gamers to unleash the power of their mind to control gameplay. The company’s move into virtual reality and video games builds on the company’s previous work in the medical field, where it has deployed no-latency VR to accelerate recovery for patients with strokes, spinal cord and brain injuries, and amputees. MindMaze unlocks neural patterns and uses them to drive human-machine interfaces, enabling exciting new applications in games, brain machine control and healthcare. Founded by Tej Tadi, PhD, in 2012, the company is based in Lausanne, Switzerland with U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, CA.