Computing

This VR headset is designed to let you find your zen

The Brainwave virtual-reality headset is designed to help with stress management. It even knows who you're attracted to.

DG Lab

Virtual reality as of late has been closely linked with the phone and video game industries. However, a Japanese tech startup is using the platform for something different: stress management.

Part VR headset, part brain monitor, DG Lab's Brainwave VR headset comes equipped with built-in electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors, which measure the brain's electrical activity.

The headset monitors users' mental states as they view a range of visual experiences designed to reduce stress and fight anxiety.

As the viewer experiences the VR kaleidoscopic imagery, the EEG results allow for on-the-fly visual adjustments to lower stress levels. During trials with 43 participants, 88 percent recorded a reduction of stress, according to DG Labs.

Another, lighter VR experiment, called the EEG Love Checker, was performed at this year's Tokyo Game Show.

Participants were shown a series of images of people via the VR headset and asked to look at them without judgment. At the end of the demonstration, the Brainwave VR headset showed which person a participant was most attracted to, using readouts based on electrical responses in the brain.

It's been a huge year for VR, with the release of the HTC Vive and the Facebook-backed Oculus Rift headsets. Industry observers predict that virtual-reality products will make over $2 billion this year, and they expect the VR market to be worth $150 billion by 2020.

The EEG-reading VR headsets come in two flavours: the Air VR goggles, an inflatable waterproof headset with optional mounted EEG, and the Brainwave VR goggles, a headset with both built-in EEG and over-ear headphones as standard. Both devices offer a 150 degree viewing angle.

Currently both devices are still under development. No word yet as to when they'll become available to consumers.