The neurotech platform made by and for developers

Brain-Computer Interface is finally accessible for developers. Now anyone can help build the future of interactions with an easy-to-use SDK.

“If you’re a software developer in 2022 who doesn’t have one of these in your test lab, you’re making a silly mistake.”

Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve

Gabe Newell is talking about Brain-Computer Interfaces and he’s not alone. As the ultimate interfacing tool, BCIs are just getting started and we should all get ready.

Just like the arrival of the touchscreen began with phones and expanded to everything from smartwatches and car screens, today’s BCI technology will have to establish its place in the world. But to make that happen, BCI had to be put into the right hands. That’s why we chose to design the first neurotech platform for developers.  

A dev-ready BCI

Until now, developers were left behind when it came to using BCI as an interface tool. Most versions of this technology have tended to cater to research and clinical needs. Recently some companies have created products to address the consumer market. For example,providing biofeedback to improving meditation practices or sleep patterns. But if you wanted to use your brain as a computer mouse to select and interact with objects, the technology wasn’t easily available.

Before NextMind, developers could hack existing EEG hardware for a DIY solution. Or assuming they have a neuroscience background, they could create their own software to process brain data. And that’s why we packaged the NextMind tech into a Dev Kit: to make BCI accessible to all levels and types of developers. 

Initially built for game developers, Unity is a 3D engine used to create apps of any kind. NextMind tutorials help you get started using our SDK, and there are a wealth of free Unity resources online to help you build the app of your dreams.

Want to learn more? See NextMind tutorials here.

To do that, we take care of the most complex parts of BCI with the NextMind SDK. That way developers can jump straight into creating their own mind-enabled applications, even without a neuroscience background.

The NextMind SDK maintains the wireless connection between Sensor and computer. This connection continually synchronizes (within the millisecond) the encrypted Bluetooth data from the Sensor with the object of your focus. The SDK also runs machine-learning algorithms that decode visual focus in real-time. There’s no longer a need to understand and process neural activity yourself. 

And finally, we designed our SDK for real-world use. That means it can run on almost any computer, graphic card, or display. If your device is connected and the screen clearly visible, you’re ready to go!

Teaming up with the developer community

At NextMind, we believe the future of BCIs will be richer and more democratic if we provide wide access to this technology from the start. This is why we made our Dev Kit available as a neurotech platform for users to apply the technology however they want.  

“We are basically offering the platform to the industry such that the industry will be able to build on top of it. By addressing this broader market, we expand the potential of neurotechnology.” 

Sid Kouider, CEO & founder of NextMind

This inclusive approach is what led us to team up with Unity for our Software Development Kit. As one of the world’s most popular 3D engines, a large audience of developers can already access and start using neurotech in their projects.

Did you know you can download and test the SDK for free? Download it here.

Additionally, Unity’s high-quality visual rendering capabilities in a portable format were a perfect match for our visual-based system. More than a game engine, Unity allows you to design 2D and 3D experiences across a range of formats. Go from desktop to video mapping, virtual reality, or augmented reality platforms.

The best part of the SDK is that it makes accessing brain outputs easy for developers while still providing the freedom to design what you want:

You can build time-based interactions that give users a strong sense of control over objects. Once an object is activated, maintaining you focus can create an interactive challenge. For example, a levitating object will continue rising as long as you focus on it. Or if using locomotive controls, you can keep moving forward as long as you wish.

Once this NeuroTag is activated, a particle effect begins to form. The animation is tied to the amount of time you focus.

Or how about designing feedback loops for a customized user experience? Providing visual feedback that an object is successfully selected enhances the user’s sense of control and is a must-have for a smooth user experience. In the NextMind demo applications, we use a green triangle to indicate when your focus is detected.

On the left, a green triangle is formed when the user’s active focus is detected. On the right, this principle of feedback has been adapted to an orange “loading” circle.

Want to customize your feedback loops? Learn how here.

And finally, developers access confidence levels to make mind-enabled objects more or less sensitive. Lowering the confidence threshold can be used for applications where speed is key, while raising it creates more of a challenge for users. It can be used to create varying degrees of difficulty in gaming.

No matter your level of dev experience, you can use the SDK as a creative playground to build your own mind-enabled applications.

Building the future, together

At this exciting point in history, BCIs have finally made the leap from the lab to the real world. Now you can use the power of your mind to make music, play games, or go hands-free. And now, it’s time to make your own experiences!

To help you get the most out of the SDK, we prioritize improvements and new features in our regular updates. The key feature users have requested is support for more operating systems and platforms.

While we plan to make many of these available over time, you can help bump your favorite to the top of the list by taking this 3-minute survey.

What would you like to create with the NextMind Dev Kit? Tell us in the comments.

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