Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Occasional Passion: Virtual Reality Sci-Fi

I'm not a true Japan-Geek, largely because I never got into manga.  I do, however, enjoy anime (at one time daily, now occasionally).  Just finished watching Sword Art Online (SAO), which thematically fit in nicely after having read both Ready Player One and Snow Crash not too long ago.  All were quite good.

I think we are way more than the 7 years out that SAO kind of implies, but the idea of a small MRI-like device that can read directly from the brain isn't crazy far out sci-fi.  Writing to the brain, on the other hand, is--even disregarding the unsettling aspect.  It isn't very likely...at least not any time soon.  Our senses are amazing input devices and electromagnetic fields just aren't.  Yes, you could conceivably create interference patterns that would target one region or another, but the brain is immensely complex and the patterning would need to be orders of magnitude more complex, and that is ignoring the power necessary to stimulate any activity at that target site.  It is far easier to project an image and build a suit that provides haptic feedback than it would be to do a wireless Matrix.

So I find the haptic-feedback system from Ready Player One to be the most likely sense-enveloping VR of the group (yes, I know, Snow Crash is audio/visual only, but the laser drawing on the eyeball is also pretty out there).

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