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Sunday

Second Life + Wiimote

Imagine this. You are tasked with learning how to perform surgery, apply pesticides, or operate a nuclear power plant. And the learning tools provided to you are: Second Life and a remote control from a Wii (a popular video game system introduced several months ago). In other words, the Wiimote would be used during the training as a virtual scalpel!

Real-world simulations using these tools is being studied at MIT, where they believe that the Wii's motion-sensitive controller is "one of the most significant technology breakthroughs in the history of computer science" and the key to building training simulators within the virtual world of Second Life. Of course, the Wiimote is just an input device and does not teach anything in and of itself. The success of virtual training programs depends on how good the training scenario is.

The Wiimote's advantage is that it's a "human-centric" device, so the user knows untuitively what to do with it when they pick up it (like with a bat or a wand). The Wiimote provides the ability to easily integrate a wide range of psychomotor activities with simulations played on standard computer platforms - this will change the ways in which people interact with computers. See the full article in Wired magazine (7/27/07).

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