A research team led by professor Jun’ichi Ushiba of the Keio University Biomedical Engineering Laboratory has developed a BCI system - which stands for brain-computer interface - that allows a Second Life resident to walk it’s avatar through the virtual world that is Second Life without using mouse, keyboard or any other controller but the power of thought.
The machine exists off a headpiece with electrodes which measures brain activity on three points of your brain: the motor cortex, the cerebellum and the basal ganglia. This data is read by an EEC machine, processed by the BCI system and then translated to avatar movement. Think ‘feet’ to walk, and ‘left arm’ or ‘right arm’ to turn to your - respectively - left or right.
Professor Jun’ichi Ushiba is sure that when more research is done, complex avatar moments and gestures will be possible. Vint thinks: ‘Neat, nevermind the Moven suit, now I don’t even have to really walk anymore!’ But this exploration of BCI systems and virtual worlds can serve a much more noble purpose than gamer lazyness: imagine it being used for rehabilitation purposes or for allowing people which are physically impaired to experience virtual worlds, where they could succesfully thrive a business, explore or… for starters, just pick things up.