Ben Wisbey
Apr 21, 2020 · 4 min read

Imagine playing Xbox and knowing when you were going to play well and when you were about to make an error. You would win more, increase your ranking, and enjoy your gaming more.

Sounds like a cheat doesn’t it?

MaddCog helps gamers play at their best by quantifying mental performance using sensors embedded in gaming headsets. This allows for clear recommendations on when to play competitive ranked games, or when to practice, while live alerts trigger when there is a high risk of error.

Focus alert while playing Apex Legends
Focus alert while playing Apex Legends
Focus alert while playing Apex Legends

A Practical Example

Let’s use Tommy as an example of a gamer who plays Apex Legends and is focused on increasing his ‘kills’ and online ranking. Historically, Tommy finds he gets killed after a battle. He suspects this is because he relaxes and switches off briefly. Using MaddCog, Tommy is now notified of these lapses in concentration, allowing him to refocus immediately, thus avoid these errors.

Furthermore, after each match, Tommy checks his Power in the MaddCog app. Power indicates his capacity to perform and is based on mental fatigue. When his Power is low, there is a clear recommendation that his performance is at risk. Tommy prioritizes his online ranking so stops playing online when his Power gets too low.

Tommy is now playing consistently at a higher level as he is avoiding poor games. This has helped to improve his ranking and increased his game satisfaction.

What is MaddCog?

To achieve the benefits described above, five metrics are monitored, providing gamers with live feedback, and tracking over time.

MaddCog’s mental performance metrics
MaddCog’s mental performance metrics
MaddCog’s mental performance metrics

Power is a measure of available mental energy. It decreases as mental fatigue increases, resulting in reduced performance.

Focus reflects the level of concentration currently dedicated to the game. Low Focus increases the risk of making an error.

Awareness shows your ability to view and interpret the whole screen. High Awareness leads to improved performance as it allows the assessment of full game activity.

Pressure ​is a combination of mental workload and stress. Champions thrive in pressure situations while others crumble.

The Performance score brings all of this together to provide an overall summary of how you are performing right now.

These metrics are accompanied by clear feedback and recommendations to help the gamer play at their best.

MaddCog app showing performance trend and feedback
MaddCog app showing performance trend and feedback
MaddCog app showing performance trend and feedback

How it works

If all the above sounds a bit like magic, well it isn’t. It is based on science, technology, and extensive research.

“Mental fatigue induces deterioration in cognitive functions. Responses become slower, more variable, and more error prone.”

This is a quote from a 2014 paper published in Biological Psychology (Wascher et al). Furthermore, research dating back to the 1990s has shown the relationship between mental fatigue and performance, and how EEG can be used to assess fatigue.

Despite this scientific relationship, there has been no practical implementation to assist consumers, let alone gamers. This is because the equipment used in the research is medical grade and thus expensive to purchase and difficult to use.

This is where MaddCog steps in. We take a unique approach and use a combination of consumer ready sensors to measure EEG and heart rate variability from the head. We conducted extensive testing, and use machine learning to quantify the relationship between the sensor data, mental fatigue, and performance.

Relationship between game performance and Focus score
Relationship between game performance and Focus score
Relationship between game performance and Focus score

This has allowed the benefits described above to be achieved using small, affordable hardware and a mobile app. This approach is currently patent pending.

MaddCog’s Offering

MaddCog’s goal is to assist gamers to improve their performance, and the best way to achieve this is to embed our technology in a gaming headset. Our unique offering is the algorithms that turn the sensor data into valuable feedback for the gamer. MaddCog licenses this technology to gaming headset brands.

We can also assist with sensor selection and validation, as well as user experience.

MaddCog — game your best

MaddCog uses sensors and machine learning to quantify…

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