Vienna start-up tackles gaming stress with biometrics


SimyLife team

Called SimyBall, it has been conceived as a biofeedback game controller that registers a users’ body signals and uses them to add to the gaming experience.

But the firm also says the concept can be used to minimise human stress levels when associated with excessive consumption of digital media and computer games.

The game controller and biofeedback device is designed in the shape of a ball. It measures the user’s pulse rate, skin conductance (skin resistance) and body temperature. The user’s stress levels are displayed as colour-coded feedback.

In this way, the SimyBall helps improve the user’s perception of their body’s reaction to stress. The user learns how to identify how much stress has an activating function and how much is too much.

The specially designed SimyGames (gaming apps) are controlled by the SimyBall using movement interactions and play buttons. The vital statistics recorded during use are integrated into a personalised and fascinating gaming experience and determine the user’s success.

All the gaming apps are based on mental training methods designed to increase self-regulation skills, e.g. concentration and relaxation skills, and mental performance.

“The idea for the SimyBall originated in high-performance athletics”, says SimyLife CEO and former top-ranking athlete Andreas Chabicovsky. “Athletes use training and regeneration phases consciously to enhance their performance. But this information about our bodies is frequently lost under the pressures of everyday life.

“Even the knowledge that we want to do something for ourselves does not always keep us on the ball. The SimyBall registers the signals sent by your body and playfully enhances your performance.”

SimyLife was founded in 2016 by Andreas Chabicovsky and Marcel Aberle. The start-up has teamed up with the University of Vienna, the University of Applied Sciences Hagenberg, the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Vienna, and the Vienna Institute for Health Studies to develop further technology.

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