The Oculus Touch controllers are great devices for interacting with virtual reality (VR) worlds but they’ll never be as intuitive as simply using your hands, which Oculus Quest users have been able to experiment with for several months now. Unfortunately, the standalone headset’s PC-based sibling, Oculus Rift S doesn’t have that feature so users have had to learn to love their controllers instead. Looxid Labs is now offering a futuristic alternative, its brainwave interface – Looxid Link.
Originally part of HTC Vive’s accelerator program Vive X, Looxid Labs has created a technology which enables VR users to control experiences simply using their brainwaves. The company released the initial version for HTC Vive in January, offering a foam facial interface with EEG sensors builtin. Now it’s the turn of Oculus Rift S, with the Looxid Link now available for $299 USD.
The Oculus Rift S version is slightly different from HTC Vive’s mask, with a silicon pad fitted with nine EEG sensors. Don’t expect to buy the Looxid Link and start controlling your favourite VR experiences with a few brainwaves, as this is more of a developer kit. Supplied with its own software development kit (SDK) which supports Unity, the package includes access to several demo applications like Mind Master: Pyrokinesis which can be used to train users’ attention and VR Mind Care, a basic example of neurofeedback based meditation in VR.
“Ever since we unveiled the Looxid Link for HTC Vive products that connects users’ minds to VR, many requests have been made to release a version for the Oculus Rift S, and in order to expand the VR platform, we decided to develop the Looxid Link for Oculus Rift S,” said Brian Chae, the CEO of Looxid Labs in a statement. “This launch will ensure compatibility between brain sensing technology and major VR headsets for VR ready PCs, while gradually expanding brain interface based VR system in the education and healthcare industries.”
Looxid Link is made to order so don’t expect rapid-fire deliveries, especially considering the current pandemic situation going on.
With VR headband design currently progressing the way it is, maybe one day they’ll feature EEG sensors as standard to offer new control schemes. As further advancements are made, VRFocus will keep you posted.