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Mind Control In Virtual Reality, Circa 2013 35

Posted by timothy
from the just-thinking-about-one-of-the-best-things-I've-ever-done dept.
New submitter chrisjz writes "What happens when you combine a virtual reality headset and a brainwave reading device? Here's a simulation showing off what's possible with current technology, using the Emotiv EPOC to read a person's brainwaves for movement in a virtual environment. Along with the Oculus Rift, a VR headset, and the Razer Hydra for hand tracking, this demonstrates another alternative to using omni-directional treadmills or full body tracking for movement and interaction in virtual reality. Consumer level brain computer interfaces are still primitive these days, but it doesn't seem too far off that we'll have virtual reality similar to what William Gibson envisioned in his novels or movies such as The Matrix has shown us."
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Mind Control In Virtual Reality, Circa 2013

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  • *have shown us (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @12:37PM (#45318523)

    We have been able to fly planes up tens of thousands of feet for nearly a century, but we're a long way from flying passengers to even to the Moon, let alone another solar system.

    A small step in one direction is rarely a sign that a great leap will be made.

    • But multiple small steps in one direction is often a sign that a great leap will eventually be made.
      • And that statement alone is the very basis for all scientific advancement, barring accidental stumble-leaps and acts of genius
    • by mspohr (589790)

      Interesting article in the NYT today about the future of education and on-line courses.
      They use an analogy to the advent of steam powered shipping.
      The first steam boats were very limited in range and capacity and could only operate on rivers.
      The trans-Atlantic shipping companies scoffed at the idea.
      12 years later steam ships were crossing the Atlantic.
      All of the original trans-Atlantic companies went out of business within the next decade.

      Disruptive technology is a bitch.

    • We have been able to fly planes up tens of thousands of feet for nearly a century, but we're a long way from flying passengers to even to the Moon, let alone another solar system.

      A small step in one direction is rarely a sign that a great leap will be made.

      About 110 years ago (next month), powered flying for a distance of around 200 feet was the best we could do.

      • That's my point yo. Flying passengers to the next solar system isn't just about making a series of optimsations to the Wright brothers' design, but about various separate technological leaps which need to be made.

        Being able to detect crude changes with EEGs or fMRIs does not necessarily take us anywhere close to Science Fiction tier mind reading/control.

  • I question the value (Score:3, Interesting)

    by undefinedreference (2677063) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @12:55PM (#45318651)

    For better immersion, we'd be better off if we could somehow intercept nerve signals to the body. Thinking "move forward" isn't the same as "getting up, balancing, and walking", which could theoretically be done completely virtually if we could intercept signals from the brain to the body.

    If we did that, we could also feed the body movement commands separate from the brain. Imagine playing a video game for a couple hours while our body rides an exercise bicycle through computer control (at varying intensities based on lactic acid feedback). You could play a video game or work in a virtual environment while your body is essentially at the gym.

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      Some of the necessary wetware already exists in the mechanism that manufactures fake sensory input and intercepts motor nerve outputs while dreaming.

      The logical place to intercept that for VR, telepresence, operation of sensory/motor systems including cyborg systems might be right there.

      • by ultranova (717540)

        Some of the necessary wetware already exists in the mechanism that manufactures fake sensory input and intercepts motor nerve outputs while dreaming.

        Or while you're awake, for that matter. Also, tapping into these systems should allowing fabrication of whole new senses and operational controls - there's no particular reason why using Slashdot should involve either optical or motor centers, when the actual content is communications.

    • by EdZ (755139)
      I'd rather skip the whole balancing and walking subsystem for my avatar motion, and instead just to move my avatar like a new limb. Don't think "move forward" as a conscious action, simply move your avatar forward; in the same way that you don't think "right hand, move upwards", you just move your hand up.
      The benefit of decoupling avatar movement from physical motion is the ability to do both simultaneously for the most adept, but more generally to avoid issues where you need to 'turn off' signals to the
      • This is exactly what I'm saying: You move as if moving your body. The same signals that would go to your limbs through your nervous system could simply be intercepted and interpreted by a computer.

        Our bodies are not terribly different from a basic electronic circuit, wiring in a car, a bus in a computer, or even a network, aside from the mechanism of signalling (which is not actually that different). I wouldn't be surprised if nanotechnology reached a level where this would be possible within the next centu

  • by Gravis Zero (934156) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @01:13PM (#45318807)

    seriously, "Mind Control"? yeah, i'm sure you were thinking "everyone will know i'm talking about man-machine-interfaces" when you wrote that headline. fear based headlines are NOT helpful.

  • incoming VR mmo.
  • But would this technology allow scientists to finally see why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
  • I am interested in playing with mind/computer tech and I am curious,aside from the Emotiv Epoc, what is there? a quick search found neursky mindset... just wondering if someone had played with the alternatives and could provide some feedback?

  • Brain/computer interfaces don't equal "mind control."

    Yes, it may make manipulation and brainwashing easier, but you can do that in the real world by feeding people false information and getting them to believe it.

    Mind control in the "zombie" sense of the word would be directly stimulating the brain to move muscles around, or perhaps one level more abstract, to directly manipulate "the will" whatever that is. A further level up the abstraction ladder would be to directly manipulate memories and emotions.

    As

  • So, I recently got diagnosed with ALS. I'll lose function of all my muscles in a manner of years. To me this is promising as it means I might have a better hope of keeping in touch with the world than just using my eyes to point to letters on a virtual keyboard :)

  • That is amazingly unimpressive. The guy can control an on-off switch with his thoughts - woo hoo....
  • by pellik (193063) on Sunday November 03, 2013 @09:35PM (#45321839)
    The summary seems to imply that Gibson made the Matrix. I know he's a popular guy in geek circles, but come on.
    • The summary seems to imply that Gibson made the Matrix. No it doesn't, there's an "or" in there.

      However, William Gibson never envisioned mind control in Virtual Reality either. You jacked in to cyberspace, a consensual hallucination of a graphic representation of data (which never took off, there's no "representation" of the net at all when you jump from Slashdot to YouTube), but Gibson explicitly had his hackers typing commands while jacked in: "distant fingers caressing the deck", "whip moves on those key

  • Once the technology develops, I can imagine high profile tutors/academies using these technologies in concert with tdcs. Use a virtual reality system to run tests on certain areas of brain function, read the resulting activity, modify the action potential of the section of the brain that is 'lacking', implement accelerated learning sequences using the virtual reality system.
  • Mind control is control of the mind, not by the mind.
  • Until I see the birth of one of these (bonus points if you've read the applicable books), I'm going to remain un-excited. Well, maybe except Oculus - that I may get excited over...

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