The video above shows a man using a Wii controller to control Second Life. He’s using it with a treadmill. Most systems like this cost several thousand dollars, but with a Wii (multi-use) and a Second Life account you can have one in your home. Id-media, a creative agency, produced this video and are the sponsors of the Open Source project WiiController4SecondLife. This type of thing wouldn’t be possible if Linden labs hadn’t open sourced the Second Life client code (nor would this nifty looking AJAX SL client for that matter).
As I was writing this I noticed that Wired has an article up focusing on MIT researcher David E. Stone’s work with the Wii and Second Life. He is looking to use the combination for corporate training. Om’s new blog Earth2Tech also has a recent piece on experimental uses of SL (none involving the Wii).
The anti-hype for Second Life has been getting deafening (see Darren Barefoot’s Get A First Life), but there are cool things being done in the virtual world (like ant simulations and NOAA’s weather visualizations). Anyone can get a free account and building objects is relaitvely simple (and once you’ve built the object in Sl you can now “export” them to the real world via 3D printing). Where Second Life may end up providing the greatest value is by being an easily shareable 3D experimentation platform, not the social world usually envisioned.