Wednesday, October 26, 2005


DQ reader and genuinely all-around-good-guy Scott Ray sent me this link:

It's an article about research being conducted by Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. on vestibular stimulation--electrical stimulation of nerves in your inner ear that govern balance. Here's an excerpt from the reporter who tried out one of their prototype devices:
A special headset was placed on my cranium by my hosts during a recent demonstration at an NTT research center. It sent a very low voltage electric current from the back of my ears through my head - either from left to right or right to left, depending on which way the joystick on a remote-control was moved.

...I felt a mysterious, irresistible urge to start walking to the right whenever the researcher turned the switch to the right. I was convinced - mistakenly - that this was the only way to maintain my balance.

The phenomenon is painless but dramatic. Your feet start to move before you know it. I could even remote-control myself by taking the switch into my own hands.

...It's a mesmerizing sensation similar to being drunk or melting into sleep under the influence of anesthesia. But it's more definitive, as though an invisible hand were reaching inside your brain.

NTT says the feature may be used in video games and amusement park rides, although there are no plans so far for a commercial product.

No, I'd skip the commercial product and go right for world domination.

There are all kinds of funky technologies being researched now that are little pieces of the future of gaming. They're going to coalesce at some point into something so bizarre and incredible that we can't even imagine it yet.

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