Hi. I am another one who made an account specifically for this thread, after watching SAO, ALO and having started watching GGO.
I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the BCI ever since Lawnmower Man and Tron but I don't have too much of a scientific mind. I am good at picking up concepts but details and numbers are all Greek to me (especially concepts on human biology and medicine, having been raised in a medical family). Along with the admition that I am no neuro scientist nor computer engineer, I am just a craft journeyman in the field of glasblowing and enthusiastic roleplayer, computer gamer and escapist (part otaku, part hikikomori).
Anyways, introductions behind us, here's my tuppence:
I don't think it would be neccessary to scan nor manipulate the entire brain, as many here said, you only need to read motoric impulses and write into sensoric impulses, stay away from glandular control (emotions) and cerebral/cognitive functions, those only would open the door to brainwashing and other forms of behavior control/personality manipulation (I don't know how the woman in the Emotiv video can act as if brainscan based targeted advertising could ever be a good thing...) However, there are some senses that are a bit more obscure and so far have not been mentioned here...and not being a neuroscientist, I don't know where in the brain those are handled:
Sense of balance
Sense of body position (allows you to touch your nose with your pinky while your eyes are clsoed and arms crossed)
Sense of time (the passing of time as well and the chronological oerder and distance of memories)
If anybody can pinpoint where those senses are and how to manipulate them, would be good to add to this thread (balance is in the middle ear...duh...)
I think the most feasable way to do it is by a hybridised pseudo-non-intrusive method.
Use the microfibers and nanotech sensors to bring the signals of the brain closer to the skull's surface, and then be picked up and translated by the helmet. If I under stand the previous post correctly, those microfibers are small enough to even pass bone without causing any damage or being noticed. For an intrusive method, that sounds pretty non-intrusive to me.
The hemlet (or hood or balaclava or whatever) translates the neural pulse from the motoric microfiber sensors into digital streams and sends them to the computer and translates the digital input from the computer into neural pulse format and passes that on to the sensoric microfiber sensors.
The computer (and internet servers) provide the game environment in a data format designed for translation into neuro-pulse
That Emotiv video mentioned requirements of training to teach the computer how to interpret your brain waves and to teach the user how to think right. A calibration of the systme can be achived by requiring the user to wear a monitor-only device (not as noticable as a full helmet...maybe a collar ring like in Accel World) to record brainwave activities through a normal day or two before using the main unit. This would be only to calibrate the unit to the individual neural pattern of the user, it will need to be able to to interpret neural signals already when it comes from the factory, calibration is just for the individual detail and fine tuning. This also adds to the write up about the SAO internal lore that was not mentioned in the previous (I think DHenry's) post. It was mentioned in the first episode already, they had to touch themselves on their elbows, knees etc... to calibrate the system to their body measures.
A completely non-intrusive alternative to pseudo-intrusive microfibers, you could use syhtesis (as mentioned above) entering input either (as mentioned) through the tongue or through the eyes (Armitage III and Ghost in the Shell.....Warning: Risk if Epileptic fits) (Synthesis is when sensoric information is processed and interpreted by the wrong sensoric center....causing amongst other things sounds to have colour or an object's surface texture to smell funny....think acid trip...)
I don't know why everybody thinks about Matrix only when mentioning intrusive methods....Matrix is obviously using a very crude coaxial connection, way to crude to actually have the resolution to interpret or stimulate neural activity accurately...also, it is implanted in many parts of the body and the main connector in the back of the skull. the old Cyberpunk and Shadowrun pen&paper games had jacks and 5-pin connectors on the side of the skull, much smaller and more cult than Matrix ever was or ever will be. Ghost in the Shell uses an array of 4 optic fiber portsin the neck, just under the edge of the skull. John Mnemnonic uses a singe optic fiber port (can't remember right now if it was in the back of the neck or behind the ear, was a long long time ago) I thiknk I have somewhere also seen USB port variations. All those have the downside that, even if you use microfiber for the cyberneural network, you still need processing/translation hardware inside the skull (which with optic fiber also means having an internal power source or additional power connectors).
Legal issues have been mentioned here before. I don't think the makers of SAO can sue for anything other than maybe changing the colour scheme or visor style on the helmet. All they created was the fantasy of a pseudo-science. Whoever is the first to turn that fiction into real science and actual technology is the one with the patent rights. Or do you think Jules Verne and the writer of the Perry Rhodan books could have sued NASA for building a rocket that can transport man to the moon? The only legal dangers there lay in liabilities. If the helmet is physically not able to access the parts of the brain that control thought, emotion and personality, and if the input sensors are limited in their max power output to within safe levels and all epilepsy warning are written in bold letters on the box, helmet and games, there should be no problem. Any "accident" would be due to somebody tampering with the system, which voids the warranty and frees the original creator from all liability. (That at least will the be standpoint of the PR and Legal departments)
I know, we all are in it for the game, for the love of SAO and MMORPG and the fantasy of BCIs and VR.
But there is so much more that can be done with it. It can save a truck load of taxpayer's money, it can revolutionise medical prosthesis, it can revolutionise warfare, it can bring school classrooms into the kid's bedrooms, it can centralise the directorship of international companies, it can allow a surgeon in Chicago to perform coroneal surgery in London, the applications are endless....
Imagine a war where nobody dies and no buildings gets damaged...terms and consequence of victory/defeat are negotiated in beforehand, then both countries send their soldiers to a GGO type battlefield to duke it out and still be home in time for dinner, because they never even left the home. No more letters to the widows of fallen soldiers. And not to mention the reduction in cost for bullets and fuel for training..no more rebuilding the training scenarios that your tank cadets just blew to bits...send them to virtual training scenarios...training accidents and casulties are a thing of the past.
Imagine members of parlament staying in their constituency to represent their voters and still being able to attent parlament without having to spend thousands of taxpayer's money every year on comute costs, limousine rental and owning a second home in the capital. Video-conferencing made it possible...NerveGear will make it preferable.
Why spend hours every day in the San Francisco super-traffic jam to get to the office if you can hold your board meetings at home between football and the news? Who would not like to spend more time with their family, watch their children grow up, have early nights with the wife,etc...? Do we really have to spend a fifth of our time in traffic or public transport?
With present state-of-the-art limb replacement, the patients have to focus on the movements and it feels alien. NerveGear will allow for the prosthesis to carry a full range of tactile sensation and be moved as easily and precise as if it was flesh and blood.
How about crime prevention? Specifically criminal compulsive behavior such as for excample sociopathic violence and pedophilia. Surpressing them will only work for short times before the compulsive need becomes too strong to contain, the only sure way to cure such disorders would be by chemical or surgical lobotomy. Watching reruns of Die Hard movies and playing Rainbow Six will only temporarely pacify, not satisfy, the need. Sooner or later such virtual stimulation will not be enough and the real thing is needed. The level of realism deep dive VR can offer even in the creation of AI, can give real satisfaction, and therfor release and defusion, to criminal compulsions without anybody getting hurt, abused, killed, taken advantage of or otherwise harmed.
With above examples, funding is easy...there are millions to be gotten form the medical sector, and billions more from the ministry of defense.Don't w
orry abouot that delaying or preventing the game. Console based videogames are where the next generation of computer technology is beta tested. SAO will have the NerveGear before anybody else, even before GI Joe and the NSA.
I am certainly no spiel master and definitely not a lawer (I have been told by many people I should be a lawer (amongst others by a lawer, a magistrate, a councel official and two police officers), due to the way I can (ab)use words, but I do have a sense of justice, integrity and self-respect...so...no way), but if your PR department ever needs tips on hair splitting, pedantics or legal puns, give me a call. I will also volunteer as guinney pig in exchange for lifelong and free guarantied (beta) access to all full dive VRMMO....and if my newest Dellboy Trotter scheme works out, I would be willing to pour funds onto that fire....but I still need to find out if my newest cash cow gives milk before I promise anything on that subject.