Psychic Powers become real. We use Virtual Reality and Brain Computer Interfaces to endow superhuman powers to 21th century humans.
Many forms of fiction feature characters attributed with superhuman, supernatural, or paranormal abilities, often referred to as “superpowers”. This tradition is especially rich in the fictional universes of several comic book stories. Since the first paper comics of the 30’s to the latest computer-generated imagery in blockbuster movies, the unique superhero powers have captivated the imagination of millions of people. Notable genres of speculative fiction, including science fiction, feature fictional beings, such as mythical creatures and supernatural entities, and technologies that do not exist in real life. A common thread in science fiction is exploring the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations on people’s lives. Our inspirations in this project range from movies to comics. The project has been inspired by superhuman powers, specially those seen in Marvel Comics and scifi movies or cartoons. In the video attached you can see scenes from X-Men, Fantastic Four, Dragon Ball Z, Superman, Matilda the witch or Lucy -a recent science fiction action film where the brain functions of the main character are amplified to achieve superpowers. In science fiction stories and superhero comics, X-ray vision is the ability to see through physical objects at the discretion of the holder of this superpower. The most famous possessor of this ability is DC Comics’ iconic superhero character, Superman. We were also very inspired (as mentioned in the previous projects) by the power of Telekinesis. For this project we specifically focus on Pyrokinesis – setting things on fire. In slightly harder sci-fi, this will explicitly reference making the molecules in an object more agitated until it burst into flames. Sometimes the fire itself can be controlled, changing size or even becoming a particular shape. In the prototype, we vary the size of the fire depending on how much concentrated is the user. The Human Torch has this kind of power, he is a fictional superhero founding member of the Fantastic Four. Similar superhuman powers are Cryokinesis or Fulgurkinesis (the ability to freeze or to create electrical discharges and lightning bolts). You can see this superpower in Storm, a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics again, and also commonly associated with the X-Men.
The fantasy that any of us could have superhero powers has always inspired people around the world. In the Human Computer Interaction field, we are lately seeing wearable devices or even textiles that almost feel like superhero technology which transform our regular human body and give us superhuman powers, like smartwatches, augmented tattoos (previous project we showed), smart materials and sensors that detect our physiological status. Many of these technologies already exist today thanks to advances in nanotechnology, sensors, signal processing, image recognition,etc. Virtual reality allows to create experiences and powers that are not possible in our world. The power of our own minds will change our lives in ways we can barely imagine. Therefore, we believe that in the future, Virtual and Augmented Reality headsets will non-invasively monitor and record electrical activity of the brain with electrodes placed along the scalp integrated in the headset. On of the applications that I am particularly interested and motivated by is meditation and wellbeing. I personally do meditation every morning, sometimes I feel I would like to be in other places rather than being in my room, just closing my eyes. Sometimes even more playful experiences can also increase mindfulness and help achieve higher levels of concentration. I believe that the project we have developed can help people to train their brain to concentrate more easily and efficiently through playful experiences.
In this experience, we allow you to be able to have the power of changing the intensity of a fire that will be shoot from your hand. You need to be concentrate to increase the power of the fire that will be shot. To shoot, you just need to close your hand with force and the fire will be thrown out.
In this experience we want the user to experience the feeling of moving an object with his mind. As mentioned before, we were inspired by multiple science fiction movies. We got inspired by Lucy, where the main character has the power of moving objects with the power of the brain. We also got inspired by Chronical (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGcwSDNFcsU) , where a group of young friends are able to move objects with the power of their mind.
There are many authors that wrote about levitation powers. In this experience, we are measuring your level of concentration. When you reach the maximum, you will start flying till you loose the concentration again.
In this experience, we allow you to be able to make things invisible with the power of your mind. You are located in a room, but when you deeply concentrated, you will be able to see through the walls.
First of all, we will enumerate the hardware devices and software packets needed for the implementation of this project. On the hardware side we need:
- MAC OS X
- Oculus Rift
On the software side:
- Unity3D 5.2.2 (https://unity3d.com/es/get-unity/download)
- LeapMotion SDK v220.127.116.11549 for OS X (https://developer.leapmotion.com/downloads)
- MUSE SDK (www.choosemuse.com/developer-kit/)
- Our Software
We will start the project by pairing the Muse device to the computer. Once paired, open the terminal of the computer and type:
>> muse-io –device [Muse-#]
Muse is streaming real time data to our computer!. Next step is to visualize the data in the application provided by the company. Open the MuseLab application and In the Opened Ports text box, enter 5000 and Click Open Port.
Then, click on the dropdown menu in the sidebar and select Visualizers. Click on New, select Scrolling Line Graph, and click Finish. The sidebar will then display a list of all the data streams available for plotting on this new graph.
In the Signal Group Options box, check the Draw box for /muse/eeg/raw.
Congrats! Your computer is receiving data from your brain! Next step is to install the Leap Motion SDK and Unity3D. After that, you are ready to start experiencing our demo! We need to open again the terminal and we introduce:
muse-io –device Muse-[#] –osc osc.udp://localhost:5000
Then, import our project into your Unity3D workspace. At this point, you just need to start playing with all the experiences that we have in this demo. Feel free to modify the code and create new experiences on top of our scenes!
Authors: Judith Amores. Xavier Benavides.