January 11th, 2007 | Published in hardware
I’ve been interested for some time in the possibilities offered by bringing external data into virtual environments like Second Life. This data might come from the web, but it could also come from the real world – from physical sensors and interfaces.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve enjoyed playing with the Arduino hardware prototyping board. This week’s open-sourcing of the Second Life client came at exactly the right time for a new experiment.
Here’s a video demonstration (people reading the feed, start your web browsers). On the left you’ll see an Arduino reading analogue values from a potentiometer and feeding the results in via the USB-serial interface to my Mac. On the right, you’ll see a modified version of Second Life that is feeding those values in via my avatar’s chat channel. An object in the Second Life world is reacting, with perhaps a half-second lag.