Virtual Reality and neurotechnology are gathering a lot of attention as more uses are being discovered for them. NextMind is a startup company that has gained $4.6 million in funding for their brain to computer interface that can use Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to take thoughts and translate them into commands.

NextMind Gets Millions in Funding

One million of the funding was awarded by BPIFrance and private investment contributions. Founder and former Unity Technologies CEO, David Helgason, and founder and former The Eye Tribe CEO, Sune Alstrup Johansen, are both investors.

All investors and partners hope to bring NextMind neurotechnology and EEG brainwave command to gaming and other areas of use. Imagine using a computer, device, or headset with the brain reading feature and being able to play a game or interact with computer systems with your thoughts.

“We’re honored to have gained such incredible support and excited that our years of research will result in bringing this new approach for neural interfaces to the mass market,” said Sid Kouider, founder of NextMind.

Although this news is emerging, it took two decades for this technology to reach this milestone. Kouider, the founder of NextMind, is also a neuroscience professor who worked with a team of scientists at the Brain and Consciousness Lab École Normale Supérieure in Paris leading research.

NextMind Founder and CEO Sid Kouider. Credit to: NextMind

“Our product has the ability to improve the way people interact with their computers,” he says.  “I’m thrilled to have some of the greatest minds in sensor technology and gaming collaborating with us,” Kouider states.

NextMind’s brain reading technology uses AI and machine-learning algorithms that turn brain waves into commands that a computer can understand. Great for gaming, this also has huge potential for those that cannot use a hand-held controller or keyboard but can still access their thoughts.

“I’m excited to see NextMind bring its innovations to the gaming world,” said Helgason. “I believe this type of technology is essential to the progression of this industry and future of computers.”

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this groundbreaking innovation and look forward to its many possibilities, not only in the gaming and virtual reality space, but in technology in general.”

The brain reading algorithm doesn’t just take directions or commands it also translates a player or user’s intentions. Without peeking inside the brain through surgery or electrodes hooked to the brain like a science fiction film, NextMind uses the brain’s signals noninvasively.

Brain Waves are Trending in Machine Learning Technology

Neuroinnovators like Looxid Labs recently gathered $4 million as well for their virtual emotion AI for the VR and MR spaces. This artificial intelligence system used headsets with sensors on it to gather data about a user’s emotion. The company used brainwave tracking and found uses for its tech in marketing and in mental health.

As machine learning grows its understanding of our complex brains, emotions, and now, intentions, we can’t help but wonder how neurotechnology like NextMind and Looxid Labs will help those with diseases that affect the body but not the brain.

Standing on the cusp of 2019, we look forward to seeing NextMind’s upcoming hardware and software in action.