open-bci-project-galea
I had a chance to drop by the Brooklyn office of Brain Control Interface start-up OpenBCI in order to get a hands-on demo of Project Galea, which includes a range of different biometric and physiological sensors such as EOC, EMG, EDA, PPG sensors in addition to 10 EEG channels and eye-tracking into a single VR headset. I previously spoke to CEO Conor Russomanno about Project Galea in 2021 and before that about OpenBCI in 2016.

It’s still early days in terms of what the real power and potential of fusing together many different biometric and physiological data streams will be, especially as most of the demos that OpenBCI has developed only use a couple of sensors at a time, but nothing yet that combines the raw data streams from multiple types of sensors in a novel way. But the access to time-synchronized data across multiple data streams will likely open up lots of new experiments and data fusion insights for something that has otherwise been difficult to combine this many physiological data streams.

The EMG sensors on the face can be used as a real-time neural input control, which was the most notable sensor from an experiential perspective. The other data is harder to get an intuitive sense about, although I did quite enjoy their Synesthesia app which translates brain wave frequencies into colors and tones within an immersive environment providing lots of super immersive, multi-modal biofeedback for signals that are otherwise difficult to get an intuitive sense about.

I had a chance to catch up with Joseph Artuso, OpenBCI’s Chief Commercial Officer in charge of partnerships and commercialization, as well as with Co-Founder and CEO Russomanno about the pre-sales starting up on May 31, 2022 for Project Galea with hardware partner Varjo. We talked about the development process for Galea, some of the target markets of academia, XR industry, and game developers (the price will be well beyond the price range of consumers), and some of the possible use cases so far, and an update on their collaboration with Valve that was first reported by Matthew Olson in The Information.

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