JackIn - Research Vision

JackIn is a framework for interactions allowing one person to become immersed in the situation another person is experiencing, sharing sensory input from that environment. The potential applications of this mode of interaction include remote experts assisting with on-scene tasks, and transmitting experiences to various people who are not present on-scene. The term "jack in" was coined by science fiction author William Gibson in his novel Neuromancer as futuristic slang for entering cyberspace. (*1) The "jacking in" concept further expanded to describe accessing the consciousness of another person. 

[1]William Gibson, Neuromancer, Ace Science Fiction, 1984.
The JackIn framework is made up of a Body and a Ghost. Body refers to the user present on-scene who supplies the situational sensory data, and Ghost refers to the user who accesses that sensory data over the network. The Ghost can also interact directly with the Body. For example, a Body on the scene of a disaster might walk around and provide a feed of sensory input over the network to a Ghost who is an expert and can issue instructions. Another example would be a top athlete in a sporting event acting as the Body, enabling, as many Ghosts to experience the event from the perspective of that athlete.


Jacking in can be seen as a form of telepresence. Usually telepresence consists of an interface enabling an operator to jack in to a machine, such as a robot, in order to observe the world from the machine's vantage point. But with JackIn, it is also possible for one human to jack in to another. In machine-mediated telepresence, the human operator is the master and the machine is a slave; the machine performs exactly the actions the human operator directs it to perform. In contrast, in the scenario of a human jacking in to another human, the Body is not limited to obeying the directions of the Ghost; both Body and Ghost possess independence. Designing an interface to accommodate this reality is the challenge of working on JackIn, and what distinguishes it from other telepresence research. The vision of the JackIn research project includes everything from the relationship between a body and its environment (JackIn Form Factor) to the relationship between different people (JackIn Formation).

>> Related Project 1 : JackIn Eye 
>> Related Project 2 : JackIn Head