We packed a Muse Headband, a Cardboard, and a Leap Motion for this hack. We found a use case to integrate all three, while also solving a real real-life problem. Also Harry Potter! Our main inspiration came from the Harry Potter character called Boggart, which turns into the thing that you fear the most.

What it does

An app developed for people to overcome different types of phobia. In this POC we tackled the most common fear: Arachnophobia(the fear of spiders). We developed a noninvasive and interactive therapy application which responds to real-time fear of the user. The application is built with high quality, animated models of various big-ass spiders. The more scared you get, the more spiders you get. The goal of each session is to overcome your fear. You are exposed to varying level of spiders, till we know for sure that you are calm. Oh, and did we mention that you can also pet or bitch-slap the spiders with your actual hands.

How we built it

Glad you asked! Hang tight.

  • We detect brain waves in the frontal lobe using Muse which is a 4 channel brain EEG. Using this device, we get theta-waves activity of the brain. After successive user testing, we were able to develop a neural network model to successfully detect the fear level and spikes in a timeframe.

  • This fear level is fed into the application, made in Unity3D for Android using a Bluetooth connection. This fear is used to generate more spiders when your brain state is most vulnerable and kill those when you are calm.

  • We also have (very) simple model of your hands to interact with the spiders. We get the location, orientation of the complete hand with the fingers using leap motion, which in turn uses multiple IR cameras.

  • Since LeapMotion can only be used in a computer and is not compatible in Android, we developed a server that streams the finger data on the local network, this is then queried through our app and the hands are rendered.

Challenges we ran into

Since neither of us are afraid of spiders, making the models and the application scary enough was a challenge.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Completing this hack to a demo-able state without getting any sleep.
  • Bitch-slapping spiders is fun

What we learned

Don't even ask.

What's next for Boggart

  • More phobias, complete Harry Potter type boggart, non-hacky implementation
  • Next scene will cater to Acrophobia, the fear of heights, making the user jump off scary cliffs and eventually fly while remaining calm.
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