Earlier this week came the revelation that IBM and Linden Lab are working on creating universal avatar standards that will enable our cartoon stand-ins to shuffle unimpeded from one virtual world to the next. You would not think the news could possibly get any better than that. But it has. Researchers at the Keio University Biomedical Engineering Laboratory in Japan have succeeded in creating a brain-computer interface (BCI) that enables people to use their thoughts to control the movements of their Second Life avatars:
The system consists of a headpiece equipped with electrodes that monitor activity in three areas of the motor cortex (the region of the brain involved in controlling the movement of the arms and legs). An EEG machine reads and graphs the data and relays it to the BCI, where a brain wave analysis algorithm interprets the user’s imagined movements. A keyboard emulator then converts this data into a signal and relays it to Second Life, causing the on-screen avatar to move. In this way, the user can exercise real-time control over the avatar in the 3D virtual world without moving a muscle.
And here’s the video to prove it.
It’s official. There is no longer any reason to get out of bed in the morning.