For those wondering what NerveGear could be, let me give you a brief insight. In 2012, an anime called “Sword Art Online” was aired, and with it came the hope of full-dive gaming, those of you who’ve seen the anime might have guessed where this article is going; those who’ve yet to watch it, allow me to explain the essence of itIn Sword Art Online, a character named Akihito Kaiba develops a VR headset called NerveGear, which allows players to have a full immersion experience of the game they are playing. This means all five of your senses will be at work; you will be able to feel, listen, watch, smell, and taste things in the game. It’s pretty awesome, isn’t it? It sounds like something from a fictional tale, and sadly, it is. Though something like it is in development, don’t expect anything until 2050.
1. What is NerveGear?
We have discussed the basics of it, but to understand the concept better, let’s dive deep into the concept of FullDive.
NerveGear transmits high-density microwave signals to the brain that are capable of accessing the user’s brain, further allowing it to send fake signals to all five senses of the user. The transceivers used in the nerve gear are not only limited to sending signals to the senses but are also capable of blocking every command from the brain to the body, restricting any unintentional movements to avoid injuries while being in the virtual world. This feature of nerve gear allows it to cut any sensory information from the body to the brain, hence serving any connection they might have in the real world.
Now comes the scary part: because of this feature of the nerve gear, it could keep the user in the virtual world forever. Hypothetically, this situation is possible. Furthermore, in the series, The NerveGear was able to destroy a person’s brain because it could emit high-powered microwaves, which could shut down one’s vital processes and causes brain hemorrhage. In Sword Art Online (SAO), its operating system was programmed to do so if the player’s hit points ever touched zero.
2. Why the Hype About NerveGear?
Despite being portrayed as some evil machine and having the ability to be one, why are people excited about it?
Well, the answer is stupidly simple in a perplexing way, and many have different reasons for being hyped about it; here are some of the important ones:
2.1. A New Experience
Compared to everything we’ve got now, the experience of nerve gear is on a completely different level. We all have wondered what the actual world of our favorite movie, series, or game would feel like, and with the help of nerve gear, we can feel it.
Even if we don’t take series and movies into account, there are tonnes of people out there who are crazy about gaming. Players go to lengths that we can’t imagine; some won’t sleep for days just because they want to beat a boss or complete a quest.
There is a Philomath hidden inside every one of us, and when something like NerveGear comes out on the market, we all want a piece of it, and it won’t take long for it to become a sensation.
2.2. Creates Extra Time
Humans don‘t have a physiological need to sleep; if you also believe so or at least are acquainted with the theory, then you’ll agree with the idea that sleep is just an antiquated fetter that humans should leave behind.
A typical human sleeps around 6–9 hours a day, which means we are wasting around 40 percent, i.e., 40 years, of our lives doing nothing but goofing off. One of the features of nerve gear is to completely disconnect you from the actual world, and all this while your body has to lay straight on the bed in an optimal resting position, which means that all the time you’ll spend on nerve gear, your body will be resting and only your mind will be awake.
The body being at rest and the mind being awake is actually considered a good thing. Some of the branches of yoga, like Yoga Nidra, are entirely focused on this concept. The concept of a power nap is also the same, though many fall asleep as soon as they hit the bed, and today’s life is a very busy one. After fulfilling our daily duties, many of us don’t have the time to maintain our social life, which leads to cutting ourselves off from our loved ones and leading to a stressful and depressing life. NerveGear can help us live a better and healthier life if it doesn’t blow our minds.
2.3. Would Lead Us To Many New Possibilities
NerveGear actually has the potential to be a revolutionary product; it’ll be useful to the point that it could bring about a new age which can be called “Nerve Age.”
Someone wanted to write a fictional series. He gave birth to the fictional concept of NerveGear, and now people are making efforts to make it a reality. For a second, think about what possibilities it might create.
Except for the main goal of NerveGear, i.e., gaming, it could be used for several other things, like as a tool of rehabilitation for those who are addicted to smoking, drugs, or alcohol, as it completely cuts off one from the physical world, so it’ll be much better than any of the ways we’ve got now.
Meditation is another field where this equipment can contribute. For those who have trouble meditating, this gadget can prove useful, artificially cutting off all five senses and diving into the world of absolute silence. It could also facilitate creating a favorable environment for meditation, which is the hardest part of doing meditation.
NerveGear will be a boon for those who have suffered some terrible fate and lost the power to walk or even move. Just imagine being on a bed the whole time, fully awake but not being able to do anything.
3. Is NerveGear Going To Be Expensive?
Current gaming consoles like PlayStation and Xbox cost 50 to 60 thousand Indian rupees, which is quite expensive. Add the costs of the games you’ll have to purchase separately, and the price will skyrocket. So yes, NerveGear is going to be much more expensive than you can imagine. We have to wait for about 5 to 10 years for it to even be available to the public.
4. What Are the Downsides of NerveGear?
With the introduction of a virtual world where everything will seem real and there’ll be no distinction between virtual and actual reality, or the distinction will be so thin that it won’t even matter, people will prefer to spend more time in the virtual world than the real one.
For a second, put yourselves in the shoes of a teenager in 2050. Now, if you’re given two options, the first is to go outside and play with other kids in your neighborhood and do all those things a teenager does. Second, to stay at home, lay in your bed comfortably, and fight monsters, dinosaurs, and dragons, to be a savior of a world, and be able to feel all this thrill, which one would you prefer? I think the answer will be obvious.
All of this will increase our dependence on the virtual world; it would be hard to convince children to stay away from it. It would be hard to make them go outside and play. After all, your body is not going to get stronger by lying on the bed all day. Physical exercise is essential for the development of children.
A good relationship, lasting bonds, and true friends—you ain’t going to get them by staying in your home all day long. NerveGear can destroy one’s social life completely. The day you decide to step into the real world, there won’t be anyone for you.
Tourism, adventure parks, amusement parks, and all other places that sell experiences are going to be most affected by NerveGear when the same experience can be sold remotely to the people who are going to come to these places.
Yesterday’s fiction is today’s reality, and NerveGear is one of those yesterday’s fiction that is in the process of becoming tomorrow’s reality. NerveGear has the potential to change the world, both in good and bad ways. If used properly and carefully, it has the power to make the world a much better place than it is today. It could be used in hospitals, training schools, and even in the army to provide the real war experience, but all of this is just our speculation and desires, and reality can be a lot different than our imagination. Maybe it’ll make the world worse than it is today; people can get addicted to it; people might have difficulty separating actual from fake; they might be stuck in the syndrome that the virtual world is better than the actual one. In short, NerveGear is like a weapon; it could be used for protection or killing. It’s up to you to decide what you are going to do with it.