– Neurogaming today features exciting research & development results and neat hardware products but the market is only in its infancy, comments GHP business advisor Indrek Vainu on the overall message from the first Neurogaming conference from San Francisco.
At the intersection of neuroscience and gaming, neurogaming falls into a broad area from applications such as brain-controlled DJ music composition set and virtual reality glasses to treatment methods for ADD and memory enhancement games.
On the gaming side, some of the most exciting developments involve neurogaming as enhanced gaming experiences. Virtual reality goggles such as the Oculus Rift lead the pack with haptic game controllers and devices capable of producing more than 30,000 different smells. Most of these devices already cost less than $1,000 and are likely to hit consumer markets in the near future. In addition there are brain wave sensor from a variety of companies such as Neurosky, Emotiv and Muse. Applications for these device consist of mind-controlled helicopters and simple mind-controlled games.
– The gaming enhancement devices such as the virtual reality goggles will appeal to a number of gamers and enter into an existing market while brain-controlled games market development takes time with a need for content and easy-to-use hardware. The other side of the neurogaming coin is the therapeudics market which can have more wider appeal and also targeting a bigger market, notes Vainu.
– Put it this way, in 2012 the combined market size for top 5 app platforms by paid application revenue was $8 billion while the mental health drug sales market in 2010 was $80 billio, he adds.
The advances in brain research and availability of multi-channel wave sensors pave the way for memory enhancement games and treatment of various neural diseases such as ADD as traditional drug development for mental disorders proves increasingly difficult. Generating fun games with clinically proven therapeudic value can have massive appeal and this is one of the areas where there is probably the most potential in the near term future for neurogaming. Harnessing the human experience measurement can also provide broad appeal to the advertising industry as consumer-testing can decrease the number of unsuccessful campaigns and save money for the industry.