Experts Find Way to Trigger Out-of-Body Experience

The BBC News ran a story recently titled “Out-of-Body Experience Recreated.”

“In the Swiss experiments, the researchers asked volunteers to stand in front of a camera while wearing video-display goggles. Through these goggles, the volunteers could see a camera view of their own back – a three-dimensional “virtual own body” that appeared to be standing in front of them.When the researchers stroked the back of the volunteer with a pen, the volunteer could see their virtual back being stroked either simultaneously or with a time lag.

The volunteers reported that the sensation seemed to be caused by the pen on their virtual back, rather than their real back, making them feel as if the virtual body was their own rather than a hologram.

After reading the article, I wasn’t sure if this would technically qualify as an “out of body” experience, but the experiment is interesting and one can only imagine what scientific advancement it could pave the way for in the future.  Even more important than scientific advancement is the advancement in mindless (or in this case, bodyless?) entertainment:

“The researchers say their findings could have practical applications, such as helping take video games to the next level of virtuality so the players feel as if they are actually inside the game.”

Does this mean we’ll finally have our own holodecks to play around in like in Star Trek?  Quick – somebody give those guys more funding.  You can read the entire article here.

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