The ability to focus one’s mind is of the utmost importance when it comes to superpowers. Everybody from Professor X to Yoda has strengthened his or her ability to control the gifts afforded to them through meditation, and now, thanks to PsychicVR, you can too. At least, you can in the virtual world.
PsychicVR, demonstrated in the below video, is a project by MIT’s Media Lab that aims to “improve mindfulness while [allowing users to enjoy] a playful immersive experience.” In other words, PsychicVR hopes to improve your mindfulness by giving you some X-Men-ish VR superpowers—like telekinesis, X-ray vision, and levitation—that grow stronger and stronger based on your “concentration” levels.
Although PsychicVR may sound like a video game, it uses some really mind-blowing (mind-reading?) tech in order to achieve its goal of increasing users’ mindfulness. The set-up consists of an Oculus Rift, Leap Motion, and a Muse headband, all of which are cutting-edge gadgets that are either available now, or will be very soon.
Essentially PsychicVR uses the Muse headband, which non-invasively monitors brain waves using EEG sensors, to gauge how much concentration a person currently has. That information is fed into the virtual world provided by the Oculus Rift and the user’s superpower levels are adjusted accordingly. Then, using the Leap Motion sensors, users can levitate random objects or even fling fireballs, as well as see through walls and float in midair. These VR superpowers increase in potency depending on how strong users’ concentration levels are (ranging from 0-100%).
Needless to say, this is an intriguing and novel take on developing mindfulness, although some purists may scoff at the idea of combining meditation with entertainment. To be fair, however, Professor X does say that “true focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity,” so maybe blowing stuff up with VR fireballs while in Lotus position isn’t too far off the mark of true mindfulness…
What do you think about PsychicVR? Will a system like this help people to develop their mindfulness, or does entertainment have no place in the realm of meditation? Transcribe your mind’s electrical patterns into readable text in the comments section below!
Images: MIT Media Lab