Virtual Reality of the Future – Look like Anyone You Want To!

It is called “Body Swapping”, this new Virtual Reality program allows for the user to have the perception of another body. The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden concocted the idea of utilizing duel cameras and simple mind trickery to accomplish this great feat. Tests have shown that the user perceives its own body to be that of the person wearing the other rig. Also they can feel movements and touches made to that body as well as their own. This technology is not only entertaining but it gives us a deeper look into the connection between the physical and mental self.

This illusion is created with CCTV cameras mounted on the heads of the subject and the perceptual subject. The use of small screens in front of the subjects eyes reacting to the view the camera has on the perceived image is how they are able to fool the mind.

There are practical applications for this technology. Kynan Eng, a researcher in neuroinformatics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, suspects that after a stimulus of an appropriate duration it could “produce measureable ownership responses to any virtual or real object, such as an often-used tool”. As of yet tests have shown that gender doesn’t affect the “Body Swapping” but one can not identify with an inanimate object.

Health professors from the University are beginning to look into this technology for assistance with rehab patients, such as; stroke victims, limb amputees, and mental body image disorders. Tests are being conducted that incorporate virtual limbs onto amputees to assist them with the use of prosthetics.

This technology may prove to be extremely useful in the health field as well as aide us in gaining insight into our own minds. But if it doesn’t, it sure would be fun to feel like you have Cindy Crawford’s or Brad Pitt’s body for the day.

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