Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Look mum, no hands!

Just saw this post after having a look at Reddit. A cap has been invented that lets a user 'walk' through a virtual landscape, just by thinking about walking! How cool is that. The obvious applications are to help disabled people potentially navigate real objects such as wheelchairs but also to help severely disabled people operate computers and interact with anyone virtually. I have been wondering for a few years how long it will be until we can literally enter the virtual world in such a way so that it is virtually indistinguishable from our actual world. Surely it's just (!) a matter of pinging the right nerves so that you 'feel' all the things you normally feel. I am thinking at this rate of progress, it should be available within my lifetime.
How is that going to effect service based industries like education? or for that matter, going to an office job? if you can interact with people naturally in a virtual office, you can live anywhere (within a convenient time-zone) and 'commute' electronically. Wouldn't it be ironic if the greatest reduction in fossil fuel use comes not from Toyota's whiz-bang cars but from comp sci graduates! This really is the best age to be living in.

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