While most of the titles we cover help better your body, Enhance VR will allow you to train your brain instead.
After six months of beta testing and refinements, Virtuleap’s Enhance VR is now releasing. It features a totally revamped user interface and additional games that will test your cognitive skills. It also features new reports teaching players about how quality sleep and moods can impact a person’s memory, attention span, problem solving, and information processing. Some of the included mini-games are Pizza Builder, which is a task-switching game, and Magic Deck, which tests a player’s episodic memory skills.
Enhance VR is currently available for Oculus Quest, Rift, and HTC Vive Focus Plus in their respective storefronts. Later this month it will launch on the Pico Neo 2 and Valve Index, and currently supports English and Chinese languages. Later this year, it will add Portuguese, Spanish, French, Dutch, and German.
“Our beta release was about collecting user feedback to improve the level balancing of each of the closed-loop games, as well as to stress test the game scoring system that translates a player’s performance to a sort of IQ for each cognitive ability,” Virtuleap CEO Amir Bozorgzadeh explains. “This renders each of our VR brain training games as much scientific instruments as they are a fun way to assess and keep track of how strong or weak you are along any of these distinct categories of mental fitness.”
After playing the game’s multiple mini-games, Enhance VR grades player’s cognitive ability with what it calls the Enhance Performing Index. The algorithm that goes into scoring the player won’t be changed in the future so that players can get a consistent score and track their mental progress. Developer Virtuleap is also working with the Pacific Brain Health Center and the National Innovation Centre for Ageing at Newcastle University to test the software and hope to use it to assess cognitive illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease in the future.
“Our vision is to mine the big data of volumetric gameplay patterns with the help of machine learning in order to create a new digital health marker that we believe will allow our games to anticipate a cognitive illness or disorder years before it onsets,” Virtuleap CTO Hossein Jalali says. “We have spent the past year preparing the ground by creating the data infrastructure required in order to generate and collect the data in a way that can make this possibility a reality.”
The Portugese developer is also putting out a beta version of a web application that will allow organizations to monitor cognitive performance of their users. An update in the fall of 2020 will add additional upgrades such as eye tracking, EEG, and smart watch compatibility to Enhance VR. To lead this initiative, four-time USA Memory Champion Nelson Dellis has joined its executive team as the Chief Memory Officer.
“There’s no doubt that technology has an active part to play in helping us live fuller lives, and this is especially true when the solutions are science-driven,” says Dellis. “As someone who has been a brain training advocate for decades, having even consulted for a few of the major players, I can say that I am blown away by the doors that VR has opened for the industry and the scientific community. I’m really excited to take all of my experience in the memory world and turn them into ideas that will change the way we think about brain health.”