VR LULLABY MACHINE: A multi-sensory feedback loop controlled by brainwaves

Media Art Installation and Research Project: RMIT University, Australia

Inter-Dream places the human body at the centre of a digital experience involving all five senses. Audiences wear EEG and VR headsets – their neural function controls the sights, sounds and aromas in an immersive performance space. Their brainwaves also provide haptic (touch) and gustatory (taste) feedback.

Poor sleep has been acknowledged as an increasingly prevalent global health concern, however, how to design for promoting sleep is relatively underexplored. We propose that neurofeedback technology may potentially facilitate restfulness and sleep onset, and we explore this through the creation and study of Inter-Dream, a novel multi-sensory interactive artistic experience driven by neurofeedback.

This artwork/research project investigates human-computer integration in relation to pre-sleep. We created a feedback loop, forming a cycle of information that is shaped by a collusion between neural function and real-time art. The feedback loop involves sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.

An Inter-Dream audience member reclines on an interactive resting platform. They wear EEG and VR headsets. EEG headsets read the electrical activity that occurs in the brain. They use their brain’s function to animate abstract visuals that are projected onto media surfaces at the rear of the space. A version of these projected visuals is also provided in VR so that audiences can view the visuals with minimal physical effort. Their neural function also triggers audio loops as well as provides aromatic and gustatory feedback.

When audiences hear and see the audio-visuals, and when they feel, taste and smell the sensory stimuli, this has an impact on their neural function. This impact stimulates new brain function and this changes the audio, visuals, aromas, gustatory and haptic effects. Therefore, a cyclical feedback loop is created between the human body and a real-time reactive multi-sensory environment. Our studies show that engaging with this system may assist people to prepare for sleep.

Link to Related Academic Paper: Towards Understanding the Design of Positive Pre-sleep Through a Neurofeedback Artistic Experience

PluginHUMAN: Justin Dwyer & Betty Sargeant. Inter-Dream: A VR lullaby machine.

PluginHUMAN: Justin Dwyer & Betty Sargeant. Inter-Dream: A VR lullaby machine.

PluginHUMAN: Justin Dwyer & Betty Sargeant. Inter-Dream: A VR lullaby machine.

PluginHUMAN: Justin Dwyer & Betty Sargeant. Inter-Dream: A VR lullaby machine.

CREDITS

Betty Sargeant ~ Artist

Justin Dwyer ~ Artist

Andrew Ogburn ~ Music Composer

Nathan Semertzidis ~ Lead Researcher

Thanks to: Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller and the Exertion Games Lab, RMIT University

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