Monday, June 02, 2008

Paralysed Japanese man takes a walk in Second Life.

This is realy a great story:
A paralysed man using only his brain waves has been able to manipulate a virtual Internet character, Japanese researchers said Monday, calling it a world first.
The 41-year-old patient used his imagination to make his character take a walk and chat to another virtual person on the popular Second Life website.

The patient, who has suffered paralysis for more than 30 years, can barely bend his fingers due to a progressive muscle disease so cannot use a mouse or keyboard in the traditional way.

In the experiment, he wore headgear with three electrodes monitoring brain waves related to his hands and legs. Even though he cannot move his legs, he imagined that his character was walking.

He was then able to have a conversation with the other character using an attached microphone, said the researchers at Japan's Keio University.

This is very amazing news, and something many people have hoped that virtual worlds could be used for. I wonder if the man feels like he has gained some freedom back.

1 comment:

  1. hi, related to this:

    We developed two prototype clients for Second Life, one that can be used without a mouse. and one that is a text only version that can be used with a screen reader enabling access to blind.

    For more info see: and