OpenBCI and Varjo partner to bring neurotechnology to spatial computing with the launch of ‘Galea’

In Virtual Reality News

May 31, 2022 – OpenBCI, a Brooklyn-based neurotechnology company, has today announced that it has partnered with Varjo, a provider of professional-grade virtual and extended reality (VR/XR) solutions, for the launch of ‘Galea’, a hardware and software platform that merges next-generation brain-computer interface (BCI) technology with head-mounted displays (HMDs). Galea beta systems will come integrated with the Varjo Aero headset and will be the world’s first device that simultaneously measures the user’s heart, skin, muscles, eyes, and brain, according to the company. 

OpenBCI stated that the Galea Beta Program has already received significant interest from applicants spanning consumer technology, healthcare, research, training, and gaming and interactive media. Galea beta units will come fully-integrated with the Varjo Aero and will include SDKs with ready-to-use building blocks for accessing the sensor data inside of Unity, Python, and several other common development environments.

Released in October last year, the Aero is Varjo’s newest VR headset that offers industry-leading visual fidelity, featuring true-to-life, edge-to-edge clarity across 115 degrees field of view, designed for professionals and leading-edge VR users alike. Galea’s on the other hand, is OpenBCI’s multi-modal sensor network and complementary software that helps to simplify the process of collecting tightly-synchronized data from the body, helping to unlock new techniques for anyone looking to objectively measure user experiences and cognitive states.

Varjo’s Aero headset

OpenBCI added that by combining Galea’s multi-modal sensor system, integrated software and Varjo VR hardware, users are equipped with powerful tools to help accelerate innovations within the neurotechnology industry.

For nearly a decade, OpenBCI has been working to expand consumer access to neurotechnology. What started as a movement among makers and early-adopters, has grown into a global community of scientists, developers, educators, and increasingly, innovation teams of major technology companies. 

“Ultimately, I see the combination of neurotechnology and mixed reality as the future of personal computers,” said OpenBCI founder and CEO, Conor Russomanno. “We’ve been watching carefully as neuroscience, BCI, and consumer technology have converged over the past several years. Varjo’s headsets are some of the best I’ve ever experienced and I can’t wait to see what our Beta users will be able to create with Galea.” 

”Varjo is proud to join forces with OpenBCI and expand access to the highest-fidelity VR to the research and developer community looking to pioneer new understandings of the human body and mind,” said Urho Konttori, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Varjo. “The integration will allow Galea users to unlock the most immersive VR experience available on the market today and truly push the boundaries of innovation in a number of fields.” 

Pre-orders for Galea will initially be open to the thousands of companies, developers, and researchers who have already applied to the Galea Beta Program. Remaining units will be available for pre-order by the general public on July 1, 2022. For more information on Galea, click here.

Image credit: Varjo

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.