Japanese researchers have reported success in using brainwaves to move characters in virtual worlds, a technology that can provide paralysis victims full access to virtual worlds.

An excerpt from Discovery:

Previous studies have shown people can move computer cursors through brain waves, but the Japanese team says it is the first to apply the technology to an Internet virtual world.

The technology “would enable people suffering paralysis to communicate with others or do business through chatting and shopping in a virtual world,” said Junichi Ushiba, associate professor at Keio University’s rehabilitation centre.

The professors at Keio University believe that interactivity in a virtual world can provide sufficient stimulus to brain activity, which can result in improvements. Virtual worlds can also provide a level field for people to use their imagination to move and feel. This is often a reprieve from the harsh reality of life.

What do you think about the transformational potential of such technology in virtual worlds?