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Virtual Dictionary: Latest Terms

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The site homepage only has room for a few dictionary entries at a time, and when new terms are added, it is usually themically: A batch of terms dealing with the same subset of VR are added in together.

This has led to an unexpected problem. A minority of our dictionary contributors have been returning to the site and refreshing obsessively to see their term on the main page. If it has already passed through the main page in amongst a batch of other approved definitions, it will of course, not show up however many times the page is refreshed.

Lately we have been receiving some irritated mails to the effect of a term we have approved for use, did not show up on the homepage. To address that, this listing shows the last few dictionary entries that were added, and thus were some of the first things new visitors saw, for at least part of a day.

Currently it displays the past ten entries, as historically it has been very rare for us to add more than ten of these mini-articles in 24 hours. This may be subject to change if we find it is inadequate.

 

Cyberpunk

Cyberpunk as a term, originates from the novel 'Cyberpunk', authored by Bruce Bethke in 1980. It comes from a fusion of the terms 'cybernetic' and 'punk'. In other words, 'Cybernetic Punk', shortened to cyberpunk. Over time, an entire genre of science fiction formed around the term. Of particular interest is that because of the nature of cyberpunk fiction, they have as a whole become the single most often used source of inspiration for virtual reality developers ever since.

Cyberpunk is a novelistic style. It is the style of novel that most frequently portrays the probable future with regards to virtual reality, augmented reality, wearable computing, and related technologies. All cyberpunk revolves around a kind of technological freedom, with all manner of technologies exploited by the unscrupulous.

Additionally, many cyberpunk works discuss the many faceted aspects of technologies such as the rise of strong Artificial intelligence, mind uploading, omnipresent augmented reality, brain augmentation, artificially created and digital viruses, and a wide host of other technologies with an analytical, often scientific stance towards them.

See Also: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Biopunk, Artificial Intelligence, Total Sensory Immersion, Mind Uploading, Neuroprosthetics, Artificial General Intelligence, Brain Computer Interface, Virtual Environment, Embodiment, Wearable Computing, BAN, Smart Machine Age, Internet of Things, Cognitive Enhancer, Jack, Meatspace, Network Intrusion Detection System

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Biopunk

Biopunk, sometimes spelt Bio Punk, is a mixture of bio as in biological, and punk as in anti-establishment. It is an extension of cyberpunk in many ways, being a group of philosophies dedicated to altering or extending the capabilities of biological forms in new ways.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, biopunk philosophies as a group are transhumanist in nature.

Biopunk differs from cyberpunk in another way; whilst the technological capabilities were not in existence to elevate cyberpunk out of the realm of pure science fiction during that moniker’s heyday, biopunk activists do exist outside of fiction due to the rise of body area networks, smart prosthetics, and the ability to biohack – to isolate and modify variables inside one's own biological body.

The most ardent of biohackers, known as grinders, are essentially transhumanists who have chosen to take control of their own internal processes to the fullest extent possible (heart rate, breathing, brainwaves, blood chemical levels et al) via invasive implants and monitoring systems. They are hacking their own biology in essence.

Biopunk efforts are compatible with virtual reality and augmented reality efforts in the design of interfaces with the senses and means to artificially maintain body systems whilst in homoeostasis. The advances in using invasive and non-invasive interfaces to bond ever more deeply with the body and with the senses, directly translate into better interfaces for VR and AR as well.

See Also: Grinder, Biohacking, Transhumanist, Transhumanism, Smart Prosthetic, Biometrics, Cyberpunk, Lifelogger

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Bio Punk

Bio Punk, sometimes contracted to Biopunk, is a mixture of bio as in biological, and punk as in anti-establishment. It is an extension of cyberpunk in many ways, being a group of philosophies dedicated to altering or extending the capabilities of biological forms in new ways.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, biopunk philosophies as a group are transhumanist in nature.

Biopunk differs from cyberpunk in another way; whilst the technological capabilities were not in existence to elevate cyberpunk out of the realm of pure science fiction during that moniker’s heyday, biopunk activists do exist outside of fiction due to the rise of body area networks, smart prosthetics, and the ability to biohack – to isolate and modify variables inside one's own biological body.

The most ardent of biohackers, known as grinders, are essentially transhumanists who have chosen to take control of their own internal processes to the fullest extent possible (heart rate, breathing, brainwaves, blood chemical levels et al) via invasive implants and monitoring systems. They are hacking their own biology in essence.

Biopunk efforts are compatible with virtual reality and augmented reality efforts in the design of interfaces with the senses and means to artificially maintain body systems whilst in homoeostasis. The advances in using invasive and non-invasive interfaces to bond ever more deeply with the body and with the senses, directly translate into better interfaces for VR and AR as well.

See Also: Grinder, Biohacking, Transhumanist, Transhumanism, Smart Prosthetic, Biometrics, Cyberpunk, Lifelogger

Permalink & Related Articles: Bio Punk



Biometric Interface

A biometric interface is an interface between a computer system and one or more human (or other biological creature) users. It uses the unique individual biological readings of those users as input data.

Broadly speaking, there are two different types of biometric interface, with two very different purposes. The first one is the most well known generally: to identify who a specific individual is, and stop unauthorised individuals from gaining access where they shouldn't.

However, in terms of VR, virtual environments, and general multiple interface data channel systems, biometric interfaces have a very different purpose. Here they are designed to recognise and adapt to the individual biological patterns of a specific user, and then use them as input or feedback vectors.

An example of the first type of biometric interface would be using gait recognition sensors in a corridor to detect the individual gait (walking motion) patterns of people using that corridor, and use that to determine who those people are, where they are, and if they should be there or not.

An example of the second type of biometric interface would be gait recognition sensors in a small spherical room, treadmill or suspended gyroscope interface, that track in real-time the physical movements of the user's legs and translate that to leg movements of their avatar in the virtual world – the avatar then moving around exactly as those leg movements direct.

The biometric interface in the second example is the means of getting as much of the user's embodiment per data channel, into the system as possible, to increase the user's immersion within the system and increase the naturalness of the interface within.

See Also: Biometric, Behaviometrics, Biometric characteristic, False Match Rate, False Reject Rate, False Non-Match Rate, False Accept Rate, Embodiment, Anticipatory Medical Device, Gait Analysis

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HRV

HRV stands for Heart Rate Variability and is a measure of the variation in the time delay between heartbeats of a given biological heart inside a living being's body. When scanned in real time through some form of biometric sensor, this interval becomes a potentially useful indicator of not just health, but also of emotional mental state.

This occurs because when we change our emotional state, the change doesn't just occur in our brains and stay in our brains. It also triggers changes throughout the body, as the body prepares to act on a physical reason for that change in state. The most famous is the 'fight or flight' reflex, in which a fear or anger emotion triggers our body to radically alter its priorities and shut down any system that is not immediately useful for attacking of fleeing from the source of the threat. Fight or flight doesn't work so well in modern societies because the fear or anger response may not be to a physical danger, but an uncomfortable activity we're about to do or even to something we've just read.

Regardless, the fight or flight response to fear or anger causes changes in the heart as elevated blood flow is required, so the heart pumps faster, and the interval between beats decreases. By tracking nothing else but heart rate variability we immediately know that the person the heart belongs to is scared or angry, based on this change alone.

But it doesn't stop there. Fight or flight is the most famous, but every emotional state has its own effects. Stress and high strain situations (such as a tight deadline) also decrease the time between heartbeats, but in a different pattern to anger. Relaxation increases it, and happiness will even produce identifiable patterns.

The pattern of heartbeats differs from individual to individual of course, and the alterations will be different when the individual is healthy compared to when they are sick, but they are consistent for the same individual. Over time a heart rate sensor can adapt to the peculiarities of an individual heart and map the emotional state of the user in real-time with a fair degree of accuracy.

Thus heart rate variability can actually be used as a form of brain interface, allowing a system to interact and alter itself in response to the subject's mood, or even allowing the subject's mood to be used as a control vector. You could, at the greatest extremes, drive a vehicle with mood alone. Although that could lead to some interesting situations if an accident happens and the user panics....

But in the main, it allows another method for direct brain input, that is non-invasive, and isn't adding more weight or mass of sensor systems to the over crowded head area to do so.

See Also: Brain Computer Interface, Neuroprosthetic, Biometric, Biometric Interface

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Heart Rate Variability

Heart Rate Variability or HRV is a measure of the variation in the time delay between heartbeats of a given biological heart inside a living being's body. When scanned in real time through some form of biometric sensor, this interval becomes a potentially useful indicator of not just health, but also of emotional mental state.

This occurs because when we change our emotional state, the change doesn't just occur in our brains and stay in our brains. It also triggers changes throughout the body, as the body prepares to act on a physical reason for that change in state. The most famous is the 'fight or flight' reflex, in which a fear or anger emotion triggers our body to radically alter its priorities and shut down any system that is not immediately useful for attacking of fleeing from the source of the threat. Fight or flight doesn't work so well in modern societies because the fear or anger response may not be to a physical danger, but an uncomfortable activity we're about to do or even to something we've just read.

Regardless, the fight or flight response to fear or anger causes changes in the heart as elevated blood flow is required, so the heart pumps faster, and the interval between beats decreases. By tracking nothing else but heart rate variability we immediately know that the person the heart belongs to is scared or angry, based on this change alone.

But it doesn't stop there. Fight or flight is the most famous, but every emotional state has its own effects. Stress and high strain situations (such as a tight deadline) also decrease the time between heartbeats, but in a different pattern to anger. Relaxation increases it, and happiness will even produce identifiable patterns.

The pattern of heartbeats differs from individual to individual of course, and the alterations will be different when the individual is healthy compared to when they are sick, but they are consistent for the same individual. Over time a heart rate sensor can adapt to the peculiarities of an individual heart and map the emotional state of the user in real-time with a fair degree of accuracy.

Thus heart rate variability can actually be used as a form of brain interface, allowing a system to interact and alter itself in response to the subject's mood, or even allowing the subject's mood to be used as a control vector. You could, at the greatest extremes, drive a vehicle with mood alone. Although that could lead to some interesting situations if an accident happens and the user panics....

But in the main, it allows another method for direct brain input, that is non-invasive, and isn't adding more weight or mass of sensor systems to the over crowded head area to do so.

See Also: Brain Computer Interface, Neuroprosthetic, Biometric, Biometric Interface

Permalink & Related Articles: Heart Rate Variability



Biohack

A biohack is a single act of biohacking – the art of taking control of one's own body via real time biometric monitoring of as many of the internal processes as possible.

One biohack is a single feedback channel from a bodily process via a worn, or even implanted device, providing a long-term or permanent way to track that variable.

One possible example of a biohack would be a heart rate monitor sewn into clothing, providing feedback of the heartbeats as and when they happen, and maybe monitoring for changes in the rhythm. Another possible example would be a blood oxygen monitor permanently covering a fingertip or other thin body part, providing a continual data readout of the oxygen level in the blood. An almost endless number of different bihacks are possible, depending largely on the individual's willingness to wear or have implanted the biometric sensor systems doing the monitoring.

Biohacks typically store this data somewhere, usually on an external computing device, so the individual can monitor their behaviour over time.

The key difference between a biohack and medical monitoring is that medical monitoring of vital signs is performed whren the individual is unwell, or injured in some fashion, and keeping an eye on their vitals helps clue the medical professionals in to how to speed their recovery. A biohack on the other hand, is performed to enhance a healthy body to greater levels of health. Specifically improving it when there is no medical reason to do so.

Rather, a biohack, as in the whole process of biohacking, is working to inform the individual of what is going on inside an otherwise healthy body, in order to optimise that body's performance still further.

See Also: Biohacking, Biometric, Smart Prosthetic, Wearable Computing, Transhumanism, Grinder, Feedback Channel

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Biohacking

Biohacking is an umbrella term for attempts for a given individual to maximise their health, productivity, or happiness through taking control of their own body and 'hacking it' to squeeze everything out of it they can.

In contrast to historic attempts to do similar by eating well, exercising and hoping for the best, biohacking takes an entirely different approach. The individual uses biometric feedback channels from hardware they wear, or even implant into their body. These feedback channels track heart rate, sugar levels, blood oxygen levels, or a myriad of other possible biomarkers in real time. The data is then stored somewhere so the biohacker can analyse the performance of their body over time, and accurately understand how different actions directly affect their internal chemical and mechanical processes.

In short, biohacking takes a system analysis approach to the user's own body, treating it as a known system and tracking as many variables as possible along with a full understanding of how those variables are processed in order to achieve the desired outcome. Treating the body exactly the same way as any other data processing system.

The more extreme subset of a biohacker is known as a grinder. These people take biohacking and basically dial it up to eleven, frequently using biometric implants permanently added to their bodies in order to track variables, and are not afraid to actively change how the body processes some of the variables if they don't like how the body naturally does it. For example, adding an implanted insulin pump and distribution system for efficiency rather than strict medical needs, or implanting a brain computer interface to boost memory capacity or offer new search engines.

See Also: Biohacker, Biohack, Biometrics, Heart Rate Variability, Grinder, Smart Prosthetic,Feedback Channel, Transhumanist, Transhumanism

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Botting

Botting refers in general, to having a task that would be expected to be done by a human user online, instead being done by either an automated script, or, at very most, a weak AI setup. Botting is typically applied to highly repetitive actions where no real thought is necessary for long periods of time.

As such, they typically manifest in great hoards in gameworlds and gaming environments where grinding (doing the same activity over and over and over) is commonplace, and take over a player's account and avatar for the duration.

An avatar controlled by a strong AI, or artificial general intelligence, could in theory be considered botting, as in such a case you have a wholly artificially-sourced mind in control of a body where an organically-based one is expected.

See Also: Strong AI, Artificial General Intelligence, Grinding, AI, Gameworld

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Multiplayer Online Battle Arena

A Multiplayer Online Battle Arena or MOBA is a type of gaming arena in a virtual environment where the objective is to destroy the player avatars of the other participants until either only one is left, or a time limit has passed.

Whilst dedicated solely to gaming, MOBAs are seeing increased attention from VR interfaces, as the more realistic the interface, the more direct the satisfaction seems to be. They are one of the main vectors for VR in gaming, as they are conceptually simple, and relatively popular, consisting of a limited 'play arena' that is normally pre rendered, and most of the action focussing around the sequence files of the player avatars..

See Also: PvP, Griefing, Avatar

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