My thoughts on Brain Beaming (hint: real life matrix)

Before I go on this will be a long post

This is based on the last part of the current version of the currently 33 page paper on projects I would like to do with a team for college.

Chapter IX part 2
Video gaming research and brain beaming

Here is the last part of my paper. Video game research.

Ever since Spacewar and pong came out video games have developed rapidly, for example, soon after color came into play, then around 1990, games like Wolfenstein and Doom came out in 3D and changed gaming forever, games rapidly evolved, new shader and graphic techniques piled up at very rapid paces, and today, near photorealistic games on the next gen hardware and the computers with the latest graphic cards.

But that’s all on the screen, what about being in the game, this made possible by putting on head helmets, virtual reality. As of now virtual reality is getting more and more sophisticated, but they haven’t gotten to the what would be the holy grail of virtual gaming.

Let’s think about this for a second, raise your hand if you think the Holodeck is the answer. Holodecks are considered to be the ultimate gaming environment. They allow you to walk, run, crawl, jump and go for miles without hitting anything. But there are drawbacks, first there’s tons of energy needed to produce it, second, they need a whole room, and third the prospect is just daunting.
Enter brain beaming.
This idea patented by SONY (AIBO and QRIO) involved beaming sensory information using ultrasound directly into the brain, in other words wiring information and jacking directly into the brain. Add that to brainwave powered aspects in the game and you have an experience you won’t forget. This is what’s so cool about it.
GAME: Field of flowers
Okay, so let’s say you got a game about a field of flowers, you put it on and you turn it on, make sure you sit down because your movement muscles will be disabled so you don’t act it out. The game beams field of flowers to the sight region and you see a field of flowers filling your vision.
The game beams charming aroma to the smell region and you smell the flowers. You touch the flowers.
The game beams feeling soft to the touch region and you get a feeling of softness.
The game also beams charming sounds to your hearing region and you hear gentle sounds of birds and butterflies. You try to move, and you move naturally for the game may tell the brain to let you move even though your real world muscles are in place.
You turn into a hummingbird and fly around the flowers, all you have to do to fly is think flight like you think to move to move.
Finally you use brainwaves to bring up a menu and you press quit and instantly you’re back.
Luckily one expert I heard speak in words on the net actually said it’s technologically sound. Meaning it is possible. If we know enough about the brain to make Mindball (google Mindball if you don’t know it) then surely such an experience would be possible.
Also,a little thing I might add, there could be a great probability that the brain itself once jacked into could be used as the computer’s CPU and of course the GPU or graphics processing unit. Because the brain is quite far more powerful then even the most powerful supercomputers today, photorealistic graphics will become a reality. What may not happen though is that robots force everyone to live in a virtual world while they use you as power like in the Matrix movies even though the Matrix itself would be possible.
This project will be with a team separate from the Robotic projects. Here’s the targets

I - a shooting game where you hear, feel, see, smell, and taste your environment.
II - a handling of the gun that’s just like real life
III - creature orbs that transform you into another creature.
IV – multi-player, being able to play cooperatively or competitively
V – External video screens that shows people watching the game what the players are doing
VI – Realistic graphics using newer shader technology if provided

It’s certain brain beaming will forever revolutionize the way games are played, so researching this would be important, how awesome would it be if I (or Wichita) was part of that revolution.
Now you’re saying, brain beaming is nice and all but what can it be used for and can it be used besides for games let’s find out.
I – Games
II – Arcades
III – Virtual thrill rides or theme parks, or virtual 3D movies without actually building a theater connecting the helmets so you watch with others.
IV – Medical simulation
V – Military training and flight simulation
VI – Architectual walkthroughs
VII – Career training and driving school
VIII – Virtual museum
IX – A sample of what the world of tomorrow might look like
X – A virtual snack simulation without the calories
XI – Virtual Bible or history walkthrough.
XII – Fear simulation for phobia treatment
XIII – Educational programs, feel the bad side effects of drugs for health class or simply use it for reasons you can’t do in school like go under the sea or on Mars or experience life as some animals that you’re studying about.
And a lot more, so there’s tons of uses and many possible benefits from this technology.

A final note, what the consol will look like, some people may think people are going to need brain implants to use this but since other applications like Mindball simply uses electrodes attached to the head without implants this would be one way to use it. Basically the main control would be a head helmet beaming information to the necessary areas to the brain. It would probably have a futuristic look but be lightweight and have electrodes and/or ultrasound pulsing devices close in on the head all around. Since we wouldn’t want our subjects falling over when they’re in the virtual world we could provide a special chair which the helmet is attached to and player 1’s chair would have the control box underneath or the control box would be wireless. It could be possible to like what I said before to have the control box send information directly into the brain for crunching and interpreting information allowing it to act as if your brain is also the computer. A different version of this could also be applied later to regular computers to allow for such things as photorealistic gaming using the old keyboard or real time image rendering. Other chairs for other players can be provided for up to 4 players per consol unless connected to the internet where players from around the world can mingle in a single environment.

Sounds cool. When is this tecnique released to the public?

I would never use one, It is extremely dangerous to do this. The brain is a powerful weapon… or a decent target. I could never have a enjoyable game experience with electrodes strapped to my head and restraints strapping me to a chair or the ground. I would keep my PS3 and never do those VR games. I’ve played virtual reality game and they are extremely fun, but that is because they are a helmet and a video screen not a big electrode stuck to my forehead, and what would happen if someone (And they probably will) creates a virus to kill the players? And I don’t mean just in the game, just haft to find a way to give the player an extreme shock to the brain and it’s over. And how do you exit? How do you know when you have exited? How will you know which one is the true reality? I would rather have a 3d holographic Blender interface, ever seen Paycheck? Just imagine that… mmmm…

Like all new and interesting technologies there are the skeptics and those who worry about it. Believe me, when I get in college making what i’ve written a reality will be one of our projects according to my current plans. Then once it’s perfected through the 4 years of college my own company will release the new Brain Beaming consol to the public. Though I am hoping other colleges and companies will read this and jump start research on it.

My point is, don’t be solidly believing all the negative stuff you get about such technologies from Sci-fi movies.

yeah such a technology would be great but thinks about what happened to the internet. way too much porns. i bet once the technology come out and become networked, we will have same if not bigger problems with it since you can fully experiences the other people from all over the worlds.

Oh there is a manga called “Identity” (or something like that) almost exactly similar to what you are saying is possible for gaming. look it up in barnes and noble or other book stores. it also would gives you an idea of how much of an addiction the video gaming at that level would be and other situations with such a games.

I understand the potential of the technology but i’m keeping an eye out for how people response to those new technology with those bad news cause many technology in the past has been unsuccessful because of consumer paranoia about such technology until a few years later when they get over it.

Though i really hope it does come out cause imagine playing a remade final fantasy 7 in such a level.

You might not, but I’m quite certain that a generation born with this technology available wouldn’t think twice to use it. They will use it.

About the dangers: I abolutely agree on that. But I think we won’t have to worry about it. This technology won’t be available during our lifes. Scientists know a lot about the brain, but there is a lot more they don’t know yet.
It sounds very simple, beaming an image of a field of flowers to the brain, but allow me to give a slightly longer explanation why I don’t see this happening in our lifetimes:

If you try to move you will send commands to your muscles to move. Even if it is possible to detect these commands, which you need for input into the game, you won’t stop them from reaching your body. So your body will obey the commands and you will actually move. There are three ways preventing this:

  • Strapping the person so he won’t be able to move
  • Preventing the brain from sending signals (not a possibility, because you will need those signals as input for your game)
  • Preventing the commands from reaching the rest of the body (this would mean paralyzing the entire body)
    None of these seem to me to be a solution. I think people will not allow themselves to be strapped to a chair (or a bed, or whatever) like that. Though I could be wrong about that.

If you use this as input you will only have a very narrow input possibility. Mindball uses very broad input (specific types of brainwaves) for a very narrow task.
Even a bigger problem is the simulation of the experience in the human. The console you are suggestion only works from the human to the computer, but not from the computer to the human. For that you will need implants. Besides it would also mean that you have to have every single brain cell connected to a different implant.

This seems very dangerous to me. Especially, like jackj pointed out, since you won’t be able to percept the difference between the real (for lack of a better word) world and the simulation.

Ixoco, don’t take this in the wrong way. I really liked your post. I’m just trying to add something to this thread.

Of course, instead of playing the Final Fantasy character with the controller, you are the character. I don’t like Final Fantasy but I know a lot of people do.

yeah such a technology would be great but thinks about what happened to the internet. way too much porns

This is an understandable risk that is part of every new technology that comes out. Sadly this may be very hard to prevent but we can’t let this cancel out the potential benefits and what it could bring to the video game industry.

Other examples would be those cartoon character games like Crash, Spyro, Sonic, people would be thrilled if they found they could physically become the characters as long as they’re playing the game. It is proven that anything is possible with using your brain for a virtual experience because take dreams for instance, in dreams you’re not even limited to human form. So we alter sensory information just for the game and use a system of using your mind to create movement and many other things you’ll be able to enjoy a virtual world with no bounds. I could imagine creating a software using this that allows you to conjure up anything you want using your mind, like dreaming without sleeping.

i would probably still wait a few year after it come out before i try it only if it uses the brain as the processor and such. cause like crouch said that the scientist still don’t know alot about the brain, what if we needed all those processing power to keep going all the time just to keep alive (pumping the heart and lungs, digesting foods and stuffs). if the machine only touch on the sensorial nerves then i would be ok with it but if it uses the brain as the computer itself the i would have to wait a while until there are no proof of such a bad effect.

From a news story on MSN BC

Sony suggests beaming visions into brain
Inventor granted patent for ultrasonic transmission

LONDON - If you think video games are engrossing now, just wait: PlayStation maker Sony Corp. has been granted a patent for beaming sensory information directly into the brain.

The technique could one day be used to create videogames in which you can smell, taste, and touch, or to help people who are blind or deaf.

The U.S. patent, granted to Sony researcher Thomas Dawson, describes a technique for aiming ultrasonic pulses at specific areas of the brain to induce “sensory experiences” such as smells, sounds and images.
The pulsed ultrasonic signal alters the neural timing in the cortex," the patent states. “No invasive surgery is needed to assist a person, such as a blind person, to view live and/or recorded images or hear sounds.”

According to New Scientist magazine, the first to report on the patent, Sony’s technique could be an improvement over an existing nonsurgical method known as transcranial magnetic stimulation. This activates nerves using rapidly changing magnetic fields, but cannot be focused on small groups of brain cells.

Niels Birbaumer, a neuroscientist at the University of Tuebingen in Germany, told New Scientist he had looked at the Sony patent and “found it plausible.” Birbaumer himself has developed a device that enables disabled people to communicate by reading their brain waves.

A Sony Electronics spokeswoman told the magazine that no experiments had been conducted, and that the patent “was based on an inspiration that this may someday be the direction that technology will take us.”

I basically took Sony’s idea and attempted to ellaborate on it. You look at the bold print where this guy says he finds it plausible. This was one of the main things that made me decide to write this. We now know enough about the brain to start doing things like this.

More things being done from the ever increasing understanding of the brain. All true.

Of course, you’ve got some interesting points here. Yet I think that the time’s still quite a bit away when these techniques will be available for everyone.
If you can do all that for a videogame, uses for the same technique are endless, I think. Everything that we do in front of a screen today would then be far easier to use via such a VR tool. I guess usability would increase and even complex systems would be much easier to understand (eg. you could create “New folders” not only with a specific name but also with a specific smell or sound so you can find them again easily - that might sound stupid but I’m sure there would be a lot of new possibilities to design software - or brainware, however it will be called then).

Still, I guess I’d be too sceptical to try it out as soon as it comes out. I’m sure the kids who grow up with these tools will use like we use computers now but for someone who knows all the old stuff, the step from our well known, sometimes stupid computers to a technology that is far more dangerous because it is far closer to the human mind but also very capable because of that is very hard to take…

Hm, but I actually think, one day we will not be able to live without our machines (well, we couldn’t now either - but at that time, Machines and Men will be “one”, and you won’t be able to seperate them anymore - I think you get the point) just as they couldn’t live without us…I guess that sounds like sci fi and it definitely is - but it’s still fascinating.

Sorry if I sound a little too sci fi but hey…it’s a cool topic :smiley:
And btw, until then you should check out the Nintendo Revolution, that may be the first step to a videogame generation with a better “feeling” :smiley:

EDIT: Wooohoo, 100 th post :wink:

One way I’m thinking to speed up research is to poke the military on possible uses like training simulations where you feel the sweat and the pain of training and feel, smell, and taste the environment, drive virtual cars and tanks and fly virtual helicopters like you’re really there. If all goes well I could get some funding and help from the Pentagon and DARPA. :wink:

I agree on the danger. Just think about it: if you could open up your skull, and it wouldn’t kill you, if you so much as sneezed on the brain, it would hurt so much that it might make you black out. If you touch it, it might kill you.

So, if your sending waves powerful and dynamic and complex enough into your brain, and not just on the surface, instant death is what you’ll have.

And it will eventually get to the point where you just LIVE in that chair, are fed and de-wasted through tubes, and you never move. Your muscles are stimulated with machines, so you don’t just rot. And…

Wait a minute!

That’s sick! We are given a beautiful planet, and then we sap its resources to EMULATE IT? WTF?

There will also be bandits who just go into these gaming centers and kill everyone, they probably won’t even notice for a few minutes. :smiley:

It may be probable that some gaming enthusiasts would do that to live in MMORPG worlds for maybe weeks at a time but with most people I don’t think it will go that extreme.

About the dangers of not being able to tell reality from virtual reality, I don’t think there will be too much worry, that is making sure it’s not incredibly real. Like in my shooting game to showcase the system since I simply don’t like it there would be absolutely no blood or gore in the game at all. But would be able to feel some pain from the weapons wether it being a gun, a laser, and electromagnetic pulse ect…

That’s sick! We are given a beautiful planet, and then we sap its resources to EMULATE IT

If there’s anyway we’ll be forced to live in an emulated world (which I doubt) i’m not going to be a key part in making it a requirement. I’m sure the Matrix itself will be a possibility through this. But the reason people are in it like in the movie won’t.

In addition to all the problems already mentioned, what about buggy code?
So… you want to stop, you try to order the game to quit… you think quit…
Unfortunately, there’s a bug in the code. Congratulations! You can’t leave the game! You are now a vegetable… I hope you enjoy whatever game it was. Perhaps with a bit of neural surgery you’ll be freed from the game… but what if you live in a country like America, where you pay for medicine? What if you can’t afford it? Better hope you’re stuck in a really interesting game!
Presumably, they’d test it thoroughly before this. In that case, Test Subject 1, who found the bug, will hopefully really enjoy the beta level of your game. He’d better.
Another case… This simulation has encountered an error and has to close. Think anything to shut down this simulation (thus killing you as the neural paths are broken). Think Ctrl-Alt-Delete to restart your brain.
Perhaps you download a virus - it could make your very life a misery, not just damage your computer. Kill you, even. Perhaps you get a virus that takes control of your actions - better hope you like jumping off simulated cliffs. Perhaps you get spyware - somebody will know everything you do. Perhaps adware - adverts pop up in front of your eyes all the time. The possibilities for problems are endless.

Made some very minor changes to the first post to mention ultrasound because it is the center of the technology.

Buggy code making the game with no way to exit and things like viruses. For one thing, I’ve never heard of a virus affecting consol systems. Though it could happen as they connect to the internet we would have to make sure they have a virus blocking program. Upon not being able to exit, well since i’d plan to connect it to the television for people watching to see and hear what you’re doing and them being able to communicate with you if someone was around and they want the helmet off I believe they could just take the helmet off unless the brain cells don’t know how to get back to normal without assistance.

But you have realized the importance it would be to test these games extensively and make sure they have good security. Like there would need to be extensive testing to make sure it didn’t lock up. About shutting down, there would have to be a mechanism which aborts the game and returns you to reality if there was an error.

I am quite doubtful that a blind person would be able to see or a deaf person hear as they wouldn’t know how to use the senses (Those from berth) and also I’m certain that murder levels and crime levels would spike severely.

The brain has no pain receptors, so you can’t feel anything if you poke it. Brain surgery, for instance, is done while the patient is awake.

Anyway, back on topic. Icoxo, your ideas seem rather far-fetched given current technology and knowledge. By all means go for that area of research if it interests you, and it’s bound to produce some very interesting discoveries, but don’t expect it to be easy; neuroscience is very complicated. It’s one thing to stimulate certain regions of the brain and create the perception of a stimulus like smell, but emulating an entire environment would require some incredibly complex device - you have to consider all the sources of stimuli: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, etc. You have to take these “baby-steps” first before beginning even to think of games.

If you want to work towards virtual reality games, it would probably be better to go into something like electrical engineering where you can then design an advanced headset with visual and auditory inputs and some sort of body suit whose movements could be motion-tracked or something and then input into the game environment.

Still by all means go for neuroscience if that’s what interests you.

There has been many things people thought to be impossible and/or impractical and we have them today. The news story I posted earlier had one neuroscientist saying this is technically plausible. Plus I never said it would be just a simple task. Most new technologies today are much more complex then say what you had 50 years ago and new technologies will just get more complex. I think that considering all the things they’re doing that involve the brain it is feasible to reach. Plus I know this is obvious, but Brain Beaming will never be achieved as long as there’s no research done on it. I can tell it will take years at the least but complex things have been done before and will happen again. Did you take a look at the two links I gave earlier?

I’m not saying it’s impossible, I think it’s quite possible, but I also think it’s still a bit early to be considering making simulations of the nature you describe. I still think using more conventional technology such as a VR headset would be a more practical approach if games and simulation is the way you want to go. In my opinion, brain research it would be more ethically and morally justified to help disabled people than to make games and simulations for rich people and the military, who will in turn drive society further into the ground. Then again, the reason doesn’t matter, only the end product does.

Anyway, feasibility problems aside, and like some other people pointed out, it all seems rather disturbing to me to be honest.