Our CTO, Moritz Thielen, attended the 10th International BCI Meeting in Brussels. He shares his key takeaways and impressions with us in this blog post.
The 10th International BCI Meeting held in Sonian Forest, Brussels, Belgium, brought together a diverse group of scientists, engineers, clinicians, and entrepreneurs, to delve into the fascinating world of Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs). The conference served as a platform for knowledge exchange, networking and showcasing the remarkable progress made in BCI research and clinical applications. In this blog post, we will highlight some of the key takeaways from the conference, shedding light on the expanding reach of neurotechnology, the driving companies in the consumer neurotech space, the impact of brain-enhanced VR gaming, advancements in implantable neurotech, and the invaluable insights gained from engaging with BCI users.
Neurotechnology expands into the consumer market
Traditionally confined to laboratories and clinical settings, neurotechnology is now permeating the consumer market. The meeting highlighted this shift, emphasizing the increasing accessibility of BCI devices to the general public. Neurotech companies such as IDUN Technologies, Neurable, OpenBCI, and NeuroXess are leading players in this space, driving innovation and making BCI technology more user-friendly and versatile. Go-to-market use cases are centered around improving customer wellbeing and performance, with an emphasis on sleep quality and mental focus.
Brain-enhanced VR gaming enables new player experiences
Real Virtual Magic and others showcased the convergence of neurotechnology and virtual reality gaming. Marius Klug’s brain-enhanced Skyrim VR Demo convinced me for the first time in years to put on some VR glasses. In a very entertaining session, I was able to enhance and cast spells based on my focus level. This exciting development opens up new possibilities for immersive and interactive gaming experiences, pushing the boundaries of human-computer interaction.
Implantable neurotech: restoring communication for paralysis patients
The combination of implantable neurotechnology, advanced signal processing techniques, and artificial intelligence has led to groundbreaking advancements in neuroprosthetic devices. The talk by Edward Chang shed light on the tremendous potential of these technologies, particularly in restoring communication for individuals living with paralysis. Companies like Blackrock Neurotech are at the forefront of developing implantable solutions that bridge the gap between the brain and external devices, enabling unprecedented control and independence for patients.
Engaging with BCI users for real-world insights
Unfortunately, user driven product development approaches are still rare in the BCI space. One of the conference’s highlights was the opportunity to interact with individuals who rely on BCIs in their daily lives. Engaging with these users allowed attendees to gain firsthand insights into their needs, challenges, and aspirations. Understanding the perspectives of BCI users is crucial for shaping future research and development, ensuring that technological advancements align with real-world requirements.
People and conversations: the soul of the conference
Beyond the fascinating talks and presentations, the true essence of the 10th International BCI Meeting was the vibrant interactions that took place outside the formal sessions. The conference served as a melting pot of ideas, bringing together great individuals who shared their expertise, experiences, and visions for the future of BCI. The power of networking and the exchange of ideas fostered a relaxed yet productive atmosphere of collaboration and community.
The 10th International BCI Meeting provided an invaluable platform to explore the frontiers of neurotechnology. With the expansion of BCI into the consumer market, the emergence of pioneering companies, and the fusion of neurotech with immersive gaming and implantable solutions, the possibilities seem boundless. Engaging with BCI users further reinforced the importance of user-centric design and the impact of these technologies on individuals’ lives. The conference not only offered enlightening insights but also cultivated an environment of camaraderie, underscoring the significance of collaboration in driving the future of BCI research and development.