Between brain-controlled VR and karaoke, HTC has wild plans for the Vive

htc vive accelerator program 32dsc 3295 ucsandiegopublications erikjepsennew
Given how many competing products and startups there are in the space, it’s easy to forget that we’re still in a relatively early stage with virtual reality technology. But companies are now starting to truly invest in the wealth of applications and industries that will be revolutionized by VR.

The latest example? HTC Vive, which this week announced that its Vive X accelerator program is investing in 26 new companies, all with different ideas and approaches to building and advancing the global VR ecosystem.

These companies include innovative startups like Neurable, which is developing brain-computer interfaces for VR control — with the goal of making “mind-controlled” virtual reality a, ahem, real reality, using the latest machine-learning technology to interpret electroencephalography (EEG) signals.

“Neurable is a brain-computer interface company with propriety machine learning technology that allows people to interact — click, type and manipulate — in the real and virtual world using brain activity in real-time with unparalleled speed and accuracy,” a spokesperson for the company told Digital Trends. “Our first product is an EEG brain recording strap for the HTC Vive that leverages our software developer kit, and allows developers to start creating next-generation brain-based applications.”

htc vive accelerator program protein4

Another startup receiving investment is the intriguing-sounding eLoupes, focused on providing a real-time surgical imaging system for the operating room. Combining light-field rendering and head-mounted displays, the hope is that hospitals can incorporate HTC Vive VR into their workflow in a way that both saves costs and improves patient outcomes.

We won’t list all of the startups in the accelerator here, but they seemingly cover everything from tools to allow fashion designers to create and test clothes in VR to (as a personal favorite of ours) a VR karaoke experience.

“We look for companies that would typically be considered to be too advanced for accelerators,” Marc Metis, vice president of HTC Vive, told us. “The reason we can attract such talent and technology is the value we add, as well as our open and agnostic approach. Vive X can leverage resources and expertise in many areas of the overall Vive business — including hardware, software, and services, and do this globally.”

Watch this space in 2018! It seems that some exciting innovations are coming down the track.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Emerging Tech

The U.S. Army is building a giant VR battlefield to train soldiers virtually

Imagine if the U.S. Army was able to rehearse battlezone scenarios dozens, or even hundreds, or times before settling foot on actual terrain. Thanks to virtual reality, that's now a possibility.
Gaming

New Sony patent suggests a wireless PSVR headset could be on the way

Images and documents in the Japan Patent Office appear to suggest that Sony is planning a wireless version of the PlayStation VR headset. It isn't clear which system it will be used for.
Emerging Tech

Scientists have a way to turn off alcoholism: Blasting the brain with lasers

Researchers from Scripps Research have demonstrated that it is possible to reverse the desire to drink in alcohol-dependent rats by targeting a part of the brain using lasers. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

China has cloned its best police dog. Now it wants to mass-produce more

Scientists in China have cloned the Sherlock Holmes of police sniffer dogs, with possible plans to mass produce it in the future. Here's why its creators think that's a great idea.
Emerging Tech

Scientists use drone to map Icelandic cave in preparation for Mars exploration

Researchers from the SETI Institute and Astrobotic Technology have demonstrated a way that astronauts may be able to map Martian caves using a Lidar-equipped drone that can travel autonomously without GPS.
Emerging Tech

A 3D printer the size of a small barn will produce entire homes in Saudi Arabia

If you’re looking for a 3D printer that can comfortably fit on the side of your desk… well, Danish company Cobod International’s enormous new 3D house printer probably isn’t for you.
Deals

Need a ride? Amazon is slashing prices on popular electric scooters

If you’re not much of a cyclist or if you’re looking for a lazier way to zip about town, an electric scooter should be right up your alley. Two of our favorites, the foldable Glion Dolly and the eco-friendly Razor scooter, are on sale…
Emerging Tech

Unexpected particle plumes discovered jetting out of asteroid Bennu

The OSIRIS-REx craft traveled to asteroid Bennu last year and won't return until 2023. But the mission is already throwing up unexpected findings, like plumes of particles which are being ejected from the surface of the asteroid.
Emerging Tech

Trip to Neptune’s moon, Triton, could inform search for extraterrestrial life

NASA has proposed sending a craft to Neptune to study its largest moon, Triton. Studying Triton could offer clues to how liquid water is maintained on planets, which may indicate what to look for when searching for life beyond our planet.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover passes its tests with flying colors

The Mars 2020 rover team has been undertaking a series of tests to see if the craft will be able to launch, navigate, and land on the Red Planet. Called Systems Test 1, or ST1, these tests represent the first test drive of the new rover.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Petzl to Tikkid, here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

A hive of activity: Using honeybees to measure urban pollution

According to a new study from Vancouver, bees could help us understand urban pollution. Scientists have found an innovative way to measure the level of source of pollution in urban environments: by analyzing honey.