Genshin Impact developer Mihoyo is teaming up with Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Ruijin Hospital to explore brain-computer interfaces — a technology that could one day be used to treat clinical depression.
Millions of players are enjoying Genshin Impact around the world, but the game's developer Mihoyo has ambitions that extend far beyond the game. It looks like the "tech otakus" of this Chinese developer really do want to save the world and a newly-announced partnership with a Chinese hospital marks the first steps in that venture.
How Genshin Impact Developer Mihoyo is Helping with Brain-Computer Interface Research
Niki Partners Senior Analyst Daniel "ZhugeEX" Ahmad revealed the team-up between Genshin Impact developer Mihoyo and Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Ruijin Hospital. The two organizations have formed a joint lab to explore brain-computer interface technology.
Simply put, a brain-computer interface is exactly what it says on the tin — it allows you to use your thoughts to control actions on a computer. The technology is certainly appealing — Tesla and SpaceX's Elon Musk has a company called Neuralink that's working with brain-computer interfaces — and some new research shows that this tech could be used for much more than interacting with computers.
"I always believed that renewing and advancing technology can catalyze evolution of entertainment." – Mihoyo CEO Liu Wei
Late last year, Ruijin Hospital began treating patients for clinical depression (via Daniel Ahmad) using brain-computer interface technology. These chips use a technique called "neuromodulation" which can either enhance or reduce activity in the nervous system. Combine that with some AI-based analysis and you have a recipe that could be used to treat chemical imbalances in the brain.
The medical applications are certainly appealing, but Mihoyo may be exploring this tech for other purposes. Company CEO Liu Wei had previously expressed his interest in exploring different ways to entertain people through the use of breakthrough technology.
"I always believed that renewing and advancing technology can catalyze evolution of entertainment," Wei said in an interview with Apple's Japanese App Store (translated via Reddit).
Brain-computer interfaces are still a very new technology and the latest generation is largely focused on medical treatments. That said, the efforts of Ruijin Hospital Genshin Impact developer Mihoyo, and other organizations like Elon Musk's Neuralink mean that we could see it expand to other uses in the near future. We can't say for sure what that will look like, but the prospect of controlling a game with your brain is certainly very exciting.
What do you think of Genshin Impact developer Mihoyo exploring brain-computer interface technology? Would you want to control a game with your thoughts or do you prefer a somewhat more analog interface? Let us know in the comments below!