#818: Neuroscience & VR: Healium XR Experiences that React to Biometric Data for Stress Reduction

Healium XR won the XR pitch competition at CES and SXSW this year for their immersive experiences that respond to biometric data. I saw the first demo of Healium XR (powered by StoryUp) back in 2017 at Oculus Connect 4, which I talk about more here in this previous interview with CEO and Chief Storyteller Sarah Hill, and I was able to talk to their biometric data advisor Dr. Jeff Tarrant at the Awakened Future Summit.

I ran into the Healium XR team at SXSW 2019 just after they had give their pitch to the judges, and I had a chance to try out their latest demo on the Oculus Go and with a Muse Headband, and then have a conversation with Hill, UE4 developer Ricky Rockley, and cinematography and editor Kyle Perry.

We talk about the challenges of developing a biometric sensor-driven experience, the trends of wearables (including biometric sensors embedded into clothing and fabrics), how they provide rewards of cinematic experiences, and some of the open questions around privacy and data ownership when it comes to biometric data.


This is a listener-supported podcast through the Voices of VR Patreon.

Music: Fatality

Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye, and welcome to the Voices of VR Podcast. So continuing on in my series of looking at the future of neuroscience and VR, today's episode looks at Helium XR by StoryUp Studios. Sarah Hill is somebody I've talked to a number of times over the years. Last time I talked to her, I think was back at Oculus Connect 4 when she was showing me the very early prototypes of Helium XR. She was having like a Gear VR with a Muse headband. And now at South by Southwest, they were going up to the Oculus Go with the Muse headband. So they're integrating different biometric data into an immersive experience. Back in the first demo that I saw, you are seeing this drone footage and that the more that you are having feelings of joy or appreciation or kind feelings, they're able to isolate that to a specific brainwave frequency and then add that into a VR experience. And if that you hit those states of consciousness, then you start to have something good happen within the experience. So you have a drone that goes up a waterfall or some sort of experience that you feel is like worth you achieving that brainwave state. So HealingXR pitched both at CES as well as South by Southwest. They won the XR competitions both at CES as well as at South by Southwest. And so they're really at the forefront of trying to create these engaging immersive experiences that are using your biometric data. So I have a chance to talk to Sarah, as well as the Unreal developer and cinematographer, Ricky Rockley and Kyle Perry at South by Southwest. So that's what we're covering on today's episode of the voices of VR podcast. So this interview is Sarah, Kyle, and Ricky happened on Saturday, March 9th, 2019 at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:01:56.843] Ricky Rockley: Hi, I'm Ricky Rockley. I'm a game designer. I build the worlds that we play in in Helium in Unreal Engine.

[00:02:05.512] Kyle Perry: Hey, guys. I'm Kyle Perry. I'm cinematographer and editor at StoryUp, and I get to run around capturing beautiful scenes for people to experience inside of Helium.

[00:02:15.381] Sarah Hill: And I'm Sarah Hill. I'm the CEO and chief storyteller at Helium, which is powered by StoryUp. Great.

[00:02:21.338] Kent Bye: So there was just a pitch session that happened here at South by Southwest. And so I'm wondering if you could give me your pitch that you just gave to the whole community there.

[00:02:30.401] Sarah Hill: Yeah, basically we're harnessing your body's electricity in order to heal virtual worlds. So we're leveraging the brainwaves, feelings of positivity, feelings of calm, using that as an input inside VR and also AR as well. as your heart rate from consumer wearables, so an Apple Watch, future watches, Muse meditation headband, any other wearable out there. We're hardware agnostic, so anything that can harness data from you, we can set it in motion inside a VR or AR experience and reduce stress. And that's our goal. We're trying to grow virtual peace for areas of acute situational or workplace stress.

[00:03:11.473] Kent Bye: I think the last time I saw the iteration of this experience was in 2017 at the Oculus Connect 4 where you showed me the same setup where I was able to go up a waterfall by focusing and meditating and so this seems to be the next iteration using Unreal Engine and now that the Go is out you're able to have more of a self-contained unit there, but also still using the Muse headband and correlating them through the Bluetooth. And so, maybe you could tell me a bit about what is the Muse headband, what type of information are you taking from my brain, and how's that being fed into the VR experience?

[00:03:47.198] Ricky Rockley: So the Muse headband is just measuring electrical activity in various parts of the brain. We have some proprietary, what we like to call our home brew, basically formulas that measure positivity or calm or quiet mind. And so using those formulas, using those algorithms, we basically use the Muse as a controller for these experiences.

[00:04:08.371] Kent Bye: Great. Yeah. So what, what else, uh, what else is new in the experience?

[00:04:12.770] Sarah Hill: So new in the experience year, we have one that will be coming out next month. It's called the wand and it allows you to fill up a wand with your feelings of positivity or calm. You can select between either one. As you fill those up, you see your own brainwave patterns displayed on your wrists on that wand. Then you're able to cast a spirit animal with those feelings. We also have some experiences coming out where we're building for the AR cloud. So these are permanent fixtures, if you will, in places where you can go and get some virtual peace and, you know, learning along the way, all of the things that have to do with the AR cloud and how you tell stories. in some of those environments. We just released an experience yesterday where you're able to command cherry blossoms, allow them to envelop around you with your feelings of positivity and virtual reality. We have two other AR experiences that are coming out on our Helium AR app where you're able to use the data from your Apple Watch if you lower your heartbeat You can grow tulips in a garden. Or if you lower your heartbeat, you can illuminate the planets. So again, just a reminder that your feelings and thoughts have power to control things, not only in the virtual world, but the real world as well. And, you know, the upside of that for all of us is that stress is the 21st century epidemic. It's a $300 billion people and profit killer. And this is a little portable solution, a tool for stress management that we have data to show that it can actually slow some of that fast activity in the brain.

[00:05:44.880] Kent Bye: Great. And so I'm curious what, what you were working on, on, on either this experience or here at Southwest Southwest.

[00:05:53.744] Kyle Perry: So we actually have a cool combination of what Ricky does and what I do. We're combining an animated gondola that Ricky is going to make in Unreal, combined with drone footage that I shoot. And so as you're reaching your thresholds, whether it's quiet mind or positivity, you're elevated up the side of a mountain. And then you're rewarded at the end with the mountain view. So hopefully that's coming down the pipe here soon.

[00:06:21.058] Kent Bye: Yeah, did you shoot the waterfall footage that was there in the previous experience?

[00:06:25.501] Kyle Perry: I did not, but similar concept, a camera dangling down underneath the drone.

[00:06:30.897] Kent Bye: Yeah, the thing that I remember about that was that it's a little bit of like you get the reward of being able to see the top. It sounds like you're leveraging that desire to complete things. It's the top of the journey. So climbing to the top of the mountain to see that view. So you're kind of leveraging that to be able to gamify it with all these different amuse headbound positive thinking to be able to climb the mountain virtually.

[00:06:53.228] Kyle Perry: Yeah, exactly. The reward is what's so special. And so we have another experience where you start out in black and white, and you go underneath a bridge and a creek, and it almost looks like winter. There's no color, the trees are void of a lot of their leaves, and then as you ascend and you're reaching your thresholds, color comes back into the scene and you get this grandiose view for miles of beautiful fall colors and you get to continue your journey above the trees.

[00:07:25.332] Kent Bye: Well, it's been a couple of years since you've been doing these integrations between the mobile headsets and the Muse headband. And it's kind of like niche hardware on top of another niche hardware. And so I'm curious how that integration has been going over the last couple of years, but also what you've been seeing in terms of a adoption or how this is actually being used.

[00:07:45.003] Sarah Hill: Yeah. So you don't need any hardware except your mobile device to use Helium. When you come into the app, it's an option. So when you come into the app, it says, yes, I'm using a wearable, or no, I'm not. In AR or VR, if you click no, the experience is a guided meditation that encourages you to recall a happy memory, a time when you felt love, joy, or appreciation. And you're using that imaginary feeling that's not necessarily pulled from your biometric data. The experience automatically plays. So, you know, that's how we're getting around not everyone having a brain-sensing headband or also a smartwatch in order to control it. And two, we're also reaching out to people who already have a BCI, a brain-computer interface, or a brain-sensing headband. There are a lot of them in the future, you know, Emotiv, the good work that Neurable's doing, or the individuals who might have an Apple Watch. there are 81 million wearables in the wild that in the future would have the potential to be able to control these experiences. So that's how we're getting around that barrier to entry by going at the markets that already have this hardware, and also, too, making it an option. If you don't want to use it, you don't have to. But if you want to use it at a greater level and be able to see your feelings, then you do need a wearable interaction. And in the future with wearable fabrics, we know that that will make our job a lot easier, that perhaps there's not all this hardware that you have to cobble together in order to power these experiences. And we're looking for additional hardware partners that would allow us to get even more wearables on the platform.

[00:09:24.869] Kent Bye: So people will be wearing clothes that would have all these sensors built into it? Like that's a thing that's going to be happening here soon?

[00:09:30.562] Sarah Hill: Yeah, someone mentioned to me, they said, one day you realize we'll be controlling these experiences from our underwear. And I laugh, I'm like, what? And I'm like, oh yeah, probably. So where they're putting some of these sensors inside undergarments, because apparently that's a good place to capture that data, you can be growing flowers with your feelings from your clothes, essentially. It sounds far-fetched, but when you think about where some of those sensors, unobtrusive areas that they'll be living, What we have now is the brick cell phone of how you capture this data. In the future, it's going to be a lot easier.

[00:10:14.389] Kent Bye: I have to say that the conversation just led to a series of images that were connected that I wasn't expecting them to be connected when I began this interview, but it kind of opens the mind of what's even possible with all this. But I'm curious, because this is such early days in terms of technology, every time I've done a demo like this, there's been a bit of friction, high friction, of actually getting everything working. I can imagine both from developing it, but also from the consumer side, we don't have the magical integrated system yet, where you just put on the headset and it's all integrated. You're kind of piecing these two things together. So I'm just curious to hear from the development perspective, what are some of the challenges for developing for that, but also the user experience of actually using it?

[00:10:57.928] Ricky Rockley: It's an absolute nightmare. It's these tiny nuances that turn into humongously different ways that you have to deploy on largely the same device that's branded by somebody else. You know, whether you're going to the Oculus Go, it's a much different development process, much different SDK, much different settings. You know, Android XMLs have to all be changed around just to put it on the Daydream, which is exactly the same specs. I apologize to any Google versus Android fans out there, The truth of the matter is that they don't make it easy for you to develop as a hardware agnostic company. The nice thing is that people are eager to be a part of the development process, especially for emerging technologies. So we've found really, really skilled full stacks out of Germany that have been able to knock things out of the park for us that we never thought was possible. When we started into this, I'm an Unreal Engine developer. There was no compatibility between the Muse and the Muse libraries and Unreal Engine. And now we have it fully integrated into our workflow. And all it took was finding a small, very talented group that we never would have expected before, getting ahold of them and finding out that they had some of those like-minded, that they were passionate about the same things that we were. So it's really cool how these desperate times, how these struggles, you know, end up connecting us with new people who are also passionate about what we are. And so we kind of form this really awesome team as we look for solutions to problems. It's cool.

[00:12:27.180] Sarah Hill: We have a welcome mat at our door that says pretty straightforward, which means it's usually not. There is no manual to how to create experiences or tell stories with your biometrics. So, you know, if it was easy, everybody would be doing it. But, you know, we've developed the formula to be able to do it over and over and over again. So as new wearables are added to the market, it can be easily integrated into the platform. And we build not only in Unreal Engine, but in Unity as well. So our AR apps are Unity based.

[00:13:01.647] Kent Bye: I think that For me, as I look at the potential of VR and the future of biometric data, there's so many amazing potentials that a lot of projects that Helium XR is working on, which is being able to tie it in and get this deeper insight as to what's actually happening in your body to be able to have more self-reflection, but also deeper insight and to actually have real-time feedback between what's happening in your body and to be able to modulate that in real-time in an experience. Now, I guess the other side is the risks of biometric data, which is for privacy and being able to get all sorts of insights as to what's happening of your unconscious body that could be correlated to what's happening in the experience that I think there's a lot of privacy risks that I'm personally concerned in terms of not letting Facebook record and capture all this data and to be able to use it for advertising for some ways. I think in the long run, there's a lot of privacy risks that to me, I think is one of the biggest risks and challenges for the future of VR. So I feel like that there's this existential ethical and moral dilemma where I could see the positive benefits, but also there's a lot of huge risks, and I'm just curious how you navigate those two.

[00:14:07.279] Sarah Hill: So the way we navigate that is by allowing users to have control of that data. So there's actually a company called Datum, perhaps you've heard of them. But what we would like to do in the future right now, we're not capturing any of that data. That data goes away inside the app. But obviously our users, specifically the enterprise or consumer level, want to be able to see their changes in progress over time. But we dream of a world in the future. And with some of the companies out there, this will be a future that's realized in that you are able to Take your own biometric data and own it and you have the ability to monetize it. Not some other company. You own your own data and you can sell it on a marketplace. So definitely check out what those companies on the blockchain are doing as far as allowing users to retain their own data, own biometric data.

[00:15:01.034] Ricky Rockley: Yeah, and I just wanted to add, you know, specific to our platform currently, you know, largely what we're, you know, without getting into our proprietary algorithms, but largely what we're looking at is percentage shifts. You know, I'm not making use of raw data coming from these wearables in any way that's identifiable. And, you know, I'm looking over a value that I set over another one. So we're looking at a percentage shift and then, you know, looking at the value between two variables rather than like, this mass amount of raw data is making these things happen. So if you were to pull the data that comes out of a session from one of our things, you know, you would see very little in terms of EEG data or biometric data coming from those devices.

[00:15:43.861] Sarah Hill: You raise a great point that we need to be having conversations as creators about that and also finding better ways to communicate that to the public that that's not going to be shared and that they're aware that they retain the ability to their data and also potentially in the future could have a way to monetize it. Somebody needs to develop that marketplace where you can sell your own data, whether it be from websites or your biometric data.

[00:16:15.879] Kent Bye: Yeah, I think that the economic business models are still forming. You know, the idea that you could not just be having your data be harvested and exploited and almost like mortgaging your privacy in exchange for free services, but to actually directly financially benefit. The thing that I worry about is a couple of things. First, in terms of the de-anonymized aspect, I'm going to personally assume that any biometric data is eventually going to have a unique fingerprint that's going to be able to be identifiable as coming from me. So that if somebody else was able to capture, in real time, information from me, they'd be able to potentially find that fingerprint. And if there's a storehouse of biometric data that is, quote unquote, de-identified, it could be potentially unlocked. So there's a lot of risk in terms of, right now, we may not know what those AI algorithms are to be able to actually unlock that biometric data. But in the future, I think that's a possibility. So that's one thing.

[00:17:06.833] Sarah Hill: Users should retain control of that.

[00:17:09.905] Kent Bye: Yeah, well, in the control, also, there's a legal aspect of the third-party doctrine, which means that any data that you give over to a third party is no longer reasonably expected to be private. The third-party doctrine. So even if you are having a company that is managing it, that still is weakening your Fourth Amendment protections against that data. once you are giving it over because you're basically, because of the third party doctrine, it says if you're willing to give it to a third party, then there's no reasonable expectation for that to be private. Now, the risk is that there's sort of a cultural privacy issue so that the more that people do that, that means that the government can start recording our biometric data and do all sorts of big brother type of dystopic futures where they give us these little images and if we're in VR, they'll be able to see what we actually think about it. It's like they're able to see what our true sentiment is. And the risk is if we don't want that to happen, then we shouldn't give that same data over to third parties that are going to weaken that. So I think there's a lot of open questions in terms of both the legal frameworks and the third party doctrine and the potentials of de-identified data. But for me, when I think about biometric data, I love the potential for what it could do for helping me meditate and to get insight. It's just I feel like there's so many other risks that are there that I just want to make sure that as we move forward there's an ethical and moral awareness around the trade-offs and especially when you start to give that data over to third parties. From my perspective, there's a certain ephemerality that happens with the data. and that you may need to have like a rolling average to be able to see those changes because you can't see things instantaneously. But as soon as you start to document it, record it, and put it on a database, that's where it starts to freak me out a little bit in terms of all the other risks to privacy and it basically becomes this threat that if that is unlocked, then what could that be eventually five to ten years down the road be produced into psychographic data is to be able to know how to subtly influence us or manipulate us in different ways.

[00:19:10.456] Sarah Hill: Absolutely. And I don't want to convey the notion that we are harvesting your data. I mean, we're using it as a self-awareness tool. And you raise some great points that we as a creator community need to have better answers to. And, you know, I think it's up to all of us as we build these experiences to make sure that we're being responsible, which is what we have tried to do with Helium by allowing the user to retain control of that and they get to decide Who knows in the future if they would want to sell it on their own marketplace or something like that. We don't have all those answers. All we have right now is a platform that's controlled by your feelings and the recognition, as you correctly point out, that we need to have some real conversations with the creator communities and users that they're aware how this is being used and not being used in a way that is financial gain or big brother, but that the user retains that control of that data.

[00:20:12.451] Kent Bye: I'm curious if you could each tell me a bit about either some of the biggest open questions that you're personally trying to answer or open problems that you're working on trying to solve.

[00:20:23.382] Sarah Hill: There's like one every minute in our shop, right? Um, just with the AR cloud, as we mentioned, how you develop permanent virtual spaces where people could gather as a stress management relief tool and how you can make those experiences additive with their feelings so that they can grow and build upon each other. So that's our current challenge that we're, we're working on now.

[00:20:54.056] Ricky Rockley: Yeah, I mean, I guess that comes down to, that's a per project basis. As a whole, it's discovering the balance between gamification and sort of passive meditative experiences. As a game designer, you know, you look at a bunch of different types of people and you find out that All of those differences in how they play and experience games, you know, extends from very basic psychology in that some people love to be challenged and some people, you know, love to have their hand held and some people like to just watch. And so there's a balance that has to be struck there because people tend to have physiological responses and psychological responses in the same way. Sometimes people like to be told to become positive and then that works for them. They're like, I'm challenged to become positive and now I'm positive. Some people want the environment. to contribute to that positivity and kind of nurture them into this positive mindset. And so that's an ongoing design challenge for me to find out, you know, what works best or do we just generate two different types of experiences always to cater to that group of people.

[00:21:59.335] Kyle Perry: Similar to what Ricky said, our audience is very diverse, and so a big challenge for me has been trying to identify scenes, because I'm a cinematographer, on what our audience would like to see, and trying to have a deep breath of different experiences, different images, so then our audience can find their niche, or what works for them, or they can try something new each time they return to Helium.

[00:22:25.141] Kent Bye: Great. And finally, what do you each think is the ultimate potential of virtual reality and what it might be able to enable?

[00:22:35.751] Ricky Rockley: I think, you know, a wearable that has a small footprint that can transition between opaque virtual reality and translucent augmented reality. I mean, most people call that mixed reality, but, you know, I know that there's a lot of hype around, you know, what Apple's doing next, you know, for us in the industry, that's pretty exciting because of their adoption rate. It tends to trend pretty high. But yeah, small footprint, easy to use, and one device would be really, really nice. One platform, one device, that's the dream.

[00:23:07.850] Sarah Hill: I said earlier I would like to go back to my childhood home that was destroyed in a tornado and be able to sit on my bed and look at my wallpaper from the 1970s. and just be there again, hear the creak of the floor, smell the old wood in the house, and just be in that space again. The house is no longer there, but if some way, and there are people working on this, like Open Water, I believe they're called, they're looking at digitizing memories, that you could digitize your memories to make it be recreated in a virtual space. I want that.

[00:23:44.622] Kent Bye: I think you first told me that back at VRLA, I think it was in 2016. And since that time, at one of the F8 conferences, they had shown Facebook was doing this little prototype where they did this point cloud capturing of recreation of a space based upon video. I think the AI being able to take a video footage that's taken in a room, be able to do a 3D reconstruction of that, I think that technology's already there in terms of the proof of concept. So, for me, it's pretty amazing to be sitting in the audience and be like, oh wow, that's something that Sarah told me about a couple years ago, but that vision to be able to recreate your memories of those architectural spaces, but then re-embody that. I was able to actually see the demo that they had created. And I think it's just a powerful way of getting into that space and seeing how that space is connected to all those memories.

[00:24:35.433] Sarah Hill: Yeah, definitely. It's exciting.

[00:24:39.556] Kent Bye: Great. And yeah, what about yourself?

[00:24:41.720] Kyle Perry: My answer is a little bit selfish. I would love to see more user-friendly tools on the backend when you're creating experiences. It just is always an uphill battle when it takes 16 hours to get out a render each time and it fails four times before you get a successful render. It just makes it really hard to hit deadlines and crunch. work with your story. A lot of times we'll work with stereoscopic footage for those pixel counters out there, that 6144 by 6144. And our editing software, you just have to give up seeing it in real time in the sequence. And so you have to wait for the export. You get to see it. You have to find your time codes to make the cuts. I hope it's what you wanted. And then go back, do another export. Yeah, it's a mess. But we're working with it.

[00:25:33.088] Sarah Hill: Kind of like sausage. Everybody likes to eat it, but nobody likes to see it being made.

[00:25:37.051] Kent Bye: Is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say to the immersive community?

[00:25:45.296] Sarah Hill: Just that we're learning. And we realize that we're trying to figure it out. And so we want to reach out to the greater XR community, data community. What are some of the things? as we peer around the corner here that we need to be thinking about to create these experiences responsibly. So I think that's important that we're all swimming in the deep end, so let's lock arms and figure some of these things out, specifically as it relates to, you know, your own personal biometric data and its power as a self-awareness tool, its power in stress management, but also You know, it's the ability for users, at least who use our experiences, to retain that own data and them to be able to decide what they want to do with it.

[00:26:36.569] Kent Bye: OK, great. Well, thank you so much.

[00:26:38.390] Sarah Hill: Thank you. Applaud your work. And thanks for the opportunity to share.

[00:26:42.997] Kent Bye: So that was Sarah Hill, she's the CEO and Chief Storyteller at Helium, which is powered by StoryUp. Also Ricky Rockley, he built worlds in Unreal Engine. And Kyle Perry, he's the Center Photographer and Editor. So, I have a number of different takeaways about this interview, is that first of all, Well, I think it's a super compelling what they're doing in terms of trying to take what you can from your biometric data and they have to have all sorts of their own proprietary algorithms to, again, look at it over time and then have these different thresholds that are trying to measure whether or not you're on the right track or not. And that they're trying to cultivate these specific states of mind that then if you reach those, then you get these rewards. The very first experience I'd seen that you are going up a waterfall with this drone footage, and they had other type of footage that they were having within this experience that you get as a reward. So you have this kind of natural incentive to want to try to achieve that brain state in order to have a very specific experience. So I think this is something that we're going to see a lot more of down the road. It's not easy. It's still very early days, even just getting all of these different biometric data sensors with the Muse headband integrated with the VR headsets. It's very clunky. It doesn't work on the first time ever. And so you just have to pair these things up. And it's a lot of thrashing in order to actually get it to work. And so they're really looking forward to the point where you just have these all-in-one devices that have all the sensors built in. And it's just totally integrated. It's not at that point yet. And so anybody that is going into this realm of the integration of biometric sensors into these immersive experiences has to do a lot of this working with all these SDKs and working with a lot of these integration issues and deployments, a bit of a nightmare. So they're on the front lines of really doing this for a number of years and trying to work out all the kinks and integrate things like Unreal Engine into the Muse headband. So I expect that over time that there's going to be either more devices or more opportunities to make this just an easier process. They're saying that stress is one of the biggest 21st century epidemics and that they're trying to create these experiences that are trying to react to you to try to cultivate these certain state of mind. So using biometric data to have some sort of story that's unfolding either in the environment, I think is one of the trends that I expect to see a lot more of here in the future. And I think that Healing XR is definitely on the forefront of experimenting with that. So if you do have one of these biometric sensors and you have access to an Oculus Go or Oculus Quest, I don't actually don't know if they're launched on the Oculus Quest yet, but I imagine that they will soon here at some point. And I'm talking to Aria Gardner of Muse Headband. She said that they're going to be announcing at some point here a solution that has a little bit tighter integration with these VR headsets because it isn't necessarily designed to be working with a VR headset. And so you do have to kind of like put on the VR headset and then put on this other biometric data sensor that's kind of like going across your forehead. And just making sure that it has tight connections to all the right places. When they saw this demo, they were putting it on me, but I just imagine for people who are trying to integrate this that they have to put on the headset and figure out all this additional peripheral. It's not in a great place, but I expect that over time it's going to get a lot better. So in previous conversations, I know that Sarah said that they've been collaborating with dr. Jeff Tarrant He's founded the neuro meditation Institute here in Oregon and he's been looking at different things of looking at how there's different signatures from EEG that you can look at different types and categories of meditation from focus mindfulness quiet mind and open heart and it seems like that a lot of the work that Sarah's been doing is using open heart aspect of joy love and appreciation and So I have an interview with Dr. Jeff Tarrant back in episode 775. I had a chance to talk to him at the Waking Futures Summit that was put on by Consciousness Hacking. And so, yeah, just to see how he's been doing the different types of research to try to categorize the different types of meditation and what kind of like neural signatures can you see from these different approaches, whether it's a focused meditation, mindfulness, meditation, quiet mind, or the open heart meditations. So that's a good interview to check out as well. And yeah, just a final point about the privacy concerns. You know, I think if we go forward and we start to just aggregate all of this biometric data and it's just recorded and stored somewhere, I guess the concern I have is that, you know, it's de-identified right now. It's not necessarily connected to you as an individual, but what's it mean when you start to have like years or decades worth of biometric data that storehouse somewhere? Does it then at that point have unique fingerprints that you could start to then go through and identify different aspects and then figure out how that could be exploited into psychographic profiles or, you know, just even like insurance, uh, if you have different signifiers that say that you're at risk for having this type of disease based upon this biometric data. And then that gets into the hands of insurance companies and all of a sudden you can't get insurance because you have these signifiers that make it seem like you may be at risk for some sort of health. That seems to be a plausible scenario that could be possible. But there's lots of concerns, I think, in terms of the future of where this data goes. who owns it and I really love the fact that they're trying to think about like how can you own your own data or at least take these rolling averages and take you know real-time processing on this data so that they could maybe see these percentage shifts over time so they don't need to store the raw data. So I think this is something that a lot of the creators still have to think about at this point and it's just something to keep in mind in terms of like how to architect for the future and to keep these concerns and issues of privacy in mind. So that's all that I have for today and I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast and if you enjoy the podcast there's a few things you can do just to help the podcast here. First of all just spread the word, tell your friends. This podcast relies a lot on the word of mouth just to help to continue to spread and grow Also, I just wanted to send a shout out and a thank you to my Patreon supporters because I wouldn't be able to do this podcast without the support from Patreon. This is a listener-supported podcast, and so I do rely upon listeners like yourself to be able to contribute to this podcast to allow me to keep on doing this type of coverage. So if you've found that you've received any sort of value from the podcast over the years, then consider giving back and to pay it forward and to allow me to continue to do this podcast, to not only spread the word about what's happening in the VR community, not only to you, but also to all the people in the future who may be discovering this podcast and helping them get bootstrapped into this immersive industry. So you can become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash voices of VR. Thanks for listening.

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