Imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technology, joins the VR Days 2018, Europe’s largest event in virtual reality from October 24-26 in Amsterdam. The event facilitates an exhibition, conference and expert sessions. At the exhibition imec will demonstrate its latest innovations in healthcare. Visitors can experience two demos: a new prototype that merges EEG technology and Virtual Reality; and imec’s fast-eye-tracking glasses. Moreover, Alessio Meroni, responsible for VR and optic technologies at imec in the Netherlands, will give a talk at the event’s TechStage on 26thof October.
Merging EEG and VR in one headset
Imec’s new EEG & VR prototype combines imec’s wireless EEG headset with dry electrodes and a standard off-the-shelf VR goggles. The system can give feedback to the wearer about his emotional state while playing a virtual reality game. To realize the system, imec researchers optimized the EEG headset design for being mounted on conventional VR goggles and added electrodes in the occipital region of the brain, closely related to visual processing.
Monitoring brain response in addition to visual observation of physical and mental responses could be an interesting next step to personalized cognitive VR therapy. The EEG/VR headset is specifically built for European pilots (TWB) in research for behavioral therapies and treatments for children with ADHD and anxiety disorders.
The team of imec in the Netherlands also developed algorithms to evaluate signal quality and handle artifacts caused by motion, talking and chewing. These algorithms, based on machine learning, are also used to interpret the EEG signals and estimate the user’s emotional state. Alessio Meroni, project leader at imec the Netherlands: “Our wearable technologies have lots of potential in a wide variety of use cases and we partner with companies and institutes all over the world to advance our technologies to enable new applications that improve quality of life. In this case, we are exploring the possibilities to use our EEG headset for research on ADHD and anxiety.”