Imagine if we could throw away the controllers of old and instead plug ourselves into a video game console. We’d experience the sights, smells, and other sensations of a virtual world as though they were actually real.
Granted, I’m not sure I’d personally want to experience half of what goes on in certain video games, but then again I also wouldn’t mind taking a stroll through Valenwood now and then.
In 2005, Sony patented such a theoretical technology in hopes that it will one day be possible. The tech wouldn’t just be for gaming, of course.
According to Ars Technica, the tech would enable “sensory experiences” by firing “pulses of ultrasound at the head to modify firing patterns in targeted parts of the brain.” In this way, the experience would be “non-invasive,” not requiring you to “jack in” like the folks in The Matrix. And yet it would allow the device to trigger various senses, including taste and sound, and even allow the deaf to hear again.
Even that’s a far cry from Matrix-like entertainment and true virtual worlds. And there are patents for everything (including teleportation!), so you never know where this stuff is going to go, if anywhere.
But, honestly, I like to think it’s only a matter of time…
I just wonder what would happen if you ran into a glitch in the system. What fun and exciting “sensory experience” would that entail?