Japanese Researchers Jack Halfway Into The Matrix

A research team led by Jun’ichi Ushiba of the Keio University Biomedical Engineering Laboratory has developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) system that will allow a user to walk an avatar through Second Life by thought alone. This is very close to what cyberspace cowboys can do in works like Vernor Vinge's Portal and William Gibson's Neuromancer.


(Brain-Computer Interface to Second Life video)

To control his avatar on the screen, the user simply thinks about moving different body parts. To move forward, the user thinks about moving his own feet. To turn right or left, the user imagines moving his left or right arm.

A headpiece monitors the motor cortex; an EEG machine graphs the data and forwards it to the BCI, which interprets the user's intended movements. A simple keyboard emulator then sends the appropriate keystrokes to Second Life. The end result: the user's avatar walks around in the virtual world without any keyboard interaction at all.


(Brain-Computer Interface at work in Second Life)

In science fiction terminology, this amounts to jacking halfway into the matrix. By "halfway," I mean that the element of moving an avatar in a virtual world without using an external device like a keyboard has been accomplished. However, the user still needs to use a primitive external monitor, rather than having the virtual world placed directly into his head.

For those lacking the sf background to fully appreciate this accomplishment, here are the references.

  • Jack In
    "As he pushed the computer's snub-tipped terminal node into the input jack on his left forearm, the android saw Leon Spaulding's lip tighten in a scowl of - what? Contempt, envy, patronizing scorn? ...At the click of contact, the computer impulses came flooding across the interface into his brain and he forgot about Spaulding..."
    (Read more about jacking in from Tower of Glass [1970])
  • Portal
    "And just as a daydreamer forgets his actual surroundings, and sees other realities, so Pollack drifted, detached, his subconscious interpreting the status of the West Coast communications and data services as a vague thicket for his conscious mind to inspect and interrogate for the safest path..."
    (Read more about the Portal from True Names [1981])
  • Cyberspace
    "He'd operated on an almost permanent adrenaline high, a byproduct of youth and proficiency, jacked into a customized cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination known as the matrix.
    The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games..."
    (Read more about Cyberspace from Neuromancer [1984])
  • Avatar
    "As Hiro approaches the street, he sees two couples probably using their parent's computer for a double date in the Metaverse. He's not seeing real people, of course. It's all part of a moving illustration created by his computer from specifications coming down the fiber optic cable. These people are pieces of software called avatars..."
    (Read more about Avatars from Snow Crash [1992])
Second Life, the wildly popular 3-D virtual world website with over 347,000 residents (and counting), is being used by corporations as well. (Read more about Second Life, which has Reporters and Taxes and even open standards)

Via Pink Tentacle.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/12/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Computer ")

Brain Connected To Internet - ‘Brainternet'
Fascinating! or thoughts to that effect.

Koniku Kore, Mouse Brain-Based Chip, Detects Explosives
'As a matter of fact, this mouse is going to keep on thinking forever.' - Cordwainer Smith, 1962.

Siri Now Smoother, Perkier (Thanks, Deep Learning!)
'Good morning, Dr. Chandra. This is Hal.' - Arthur C. Clarke

Neuralink, The Latest Elon Musk Passion
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE [a mainframe computer] what we wanted...' - Pournelle and Niven, 1981.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?

Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.

easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.

Meet Assist-e Honda's Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'

Kalashnikov's One-Seater Hovercraft
Not for windy days.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.