September 11th, 2008 by Benjamin Duranske
A lucky search at the USPTO turned up Patent No. 7,117,136 (.pdf) describing a whole-body input device with built-in force feedback. The patent issued to Second Life founder and former Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale in 2006, and has been assigned to Linden Lab.
How does it work? “An input and feedback system for use with simulator devices immobilizes a portion of the user’s body using a securement device which holds the immobilized portion in a fixed position. [...] Such immobilizing devices may be used to allow input and feedback based on the motion of various parts of the user’s body, such as the head, arms, legs, and torso.”
So basically, it’s a rudimentary holodeck, with straps and helmets. Images from the patent follow. Jokes go in the comments.
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