Potential Reality in Virtual Prosthetics

Okay, this is just plain cool. From New Scientist (Link):

A simulated world that can be explored simply by thinking about putting one foot in front of the other might offer new rehabilitation possibilities for disabled patients.
This is the vision behind a project that connects a brain-computer interface (BCI) to an immersive virtual world.
One team, from the Graz University of Technology in Austria, specialises in measuring signals from the brain, via electrodes or implants. The other, from University College London (UCL), UK, focuses on building highly immersive virtual reality worlds.
The two groups came together through a European consortium called PRESENCCIA. The goal is to create a virtual world through which a person can navigate using just their imagination.

Imagine all the brilliant minds locked up in bodies that can’t express themselves. We shouldn’t be doing this for altruistic reasons, but because people who might need this sort of interface to effectively communicate with the world can potentially contribute so much to it.

When another Stephen Hawking is discovered using such technologies, hopefully the world will take some notice. So far we’re not doing a very good job noticing the one’s that don’t really require any technology; just tolerance, some compassion and an opportunity.

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