FullDive is the use of technology to fully immerse one's consciousness in virtual reality. Developed by Kayaba Akihiko, the technology led to the creation of the device NerveGear. It is the basis of most of the stories in the entire Sword Art Online series.
A NERve Direct Linkage Environment System or NERDLES (ニードルス Nīdorusu?) is required for a FullDive.
Known VR ConsolesEdit
- Nerve Gear
- Soul Translator
- Neuro Linker (Accel World crossover)
NerveGear (ナーヴギア Nāvugia?) was created by Argus. It only has a single interface that covers a player's whole head and face. It completely controls the player's consciousness by redirecting the signals the brain sends to the body and sending its own waves to stimulate the five senses. It has its own battery source, as well as a high frequency electromagnetic microwaves transmitter. Puzzles, education related games, or environmental type games were first produced for NerveGear. Therefore, Sword Art Online was a major excitement to all gamers. This design trapped 10,000 players during the official launch of Sword Art Online in September 2022. It is the first VR technology that has been mass-produced.
AmuSphere (アミュスフィア Amyusufia?) is the revised version of the NerveGear which was co-developed by RECTO Progress Inc.. The system has been modified to make it safer than its predecessor by changing the microwaves transmitter to a low frequency. The incorporation of various sensors that continually monitor blood pressure and brain waves which provoke a safety logout feature in case that the person's status become abnormal were also added in this design. In addition, the AmuSphere does not completely block out signals from the body, like NerveGear did, so some players may pay extra for specialized rooms designed to make the experience in the virtual world more real by excluding sounds and sensations from the outside.(メディキュボイド Medikyuboido?) is a 3rd generation FullDive machine developed for use in the medical field, instead of the entertainment industry. The basic design of the machine was provided by Koujiro Rinko, based on the machine that Kayaba used to copy his memories and thoughts onto the Internet. Unlike the 2nd generation devices that only consist of a helmet that connects to the user's brain, the MediCuboid is integrated with a bed, from the head to the spinal cord, rather than just a helmet and it connects not only to the medulla, but to the spinal cord as well. It also possesses a greater processing power, allowing interaction with deeper parts of the brain. All these improvements provide the user with enhanced reflexes and reaction time. However, this machine is only meant to be used for medical purposes, and specifically for patients in Terminal Care. The users of the MediCuboid hardly use their own bodies to come back to the real world; instead, they connect to external devices, like cameras and microphones, via the MediCuboid to interact with the real world.
The «Soul Translator» (ソウル・トランスレーター Sōru Toransurētā?) is a 4th generation FullDive machine, invented by Higa Takeru at RATH. Unlike its predecessors, this machine does not connect to the users brain, but the user's Fluctlight (i.e. soul or consciousness) instead. The machine was created to be used in Project Alicization to create a highly adaptive Artificial Intelligence by copying a human's Fluctlight. The machine also has a function called Fluctlight Acceleration (FLA), which allows the machine to accelerate the user's «Thought Clock Control Signal», thus accelerating the user's sense of time by up to 5,000 times that of the time flow in the real world. Additionally, the virtual world rendered by the Soul Translator is astoundingly lifelike, as the machine renders the world via memories, instead of polygons, meaning that every object in the virtual world is at the same level as the real thing in the user's consciousness.
To use NerveGear and AmuSphere, the player places the game console over the head. Then, the player will lay down in a comfortable position, usually in a bed. Afterwards, the helmet-like console will activate through the initiation words «Link Start» and will begin loading the currently inserted game.
- Though it is not seen or mentioned in the SAO series, the Neuro Linker is a device like the AmuSphere serving the same purpose as a VR device.
- The term NERDLES was only ever used in the web version of the novel.