Virtual body technology uses 5 senses

[From DigInfo TV, where the story features a 2:31 minute video]

Virtual Body Technology Uses 5 Senses

20 December 2012
Posted By Aki Tsukioka and Takuya Nakajima

The Ikei Laboratory of Tokyo Metropolitan University Graduate School of System Design is developing virtual body technology that utilizes the five senses. In addition to using conventional audio and video footage, this technology can recreate smells as well as the feel of the wind and of stepping on the ground.

“This exhibition of a virtual body is for the purpose of having a vicarious experience. This technology aims to enable various experiences as if having assumed a different person’s body. This exhibition gives people the opportunity to vicariously experience traveling in Milan and running the world record 100-meter dash of famous athlete Usain Bolt.”

The exhibition is made up of a 3D monitor, headphones, a fan to create a breeze and spread scents, a chair that leans back and forth and vibrates partially, and foot pedals. These work together to stimulate the five senses of the subject fixed in his or her seat, creating a virtual vicarious experience.

“The chair will move to provide directional and vestibular sensations. The legs will move to create a sense of actually walking or running and a sense of moving in parallel or up and down, or to create a sensation as if the feet are touching the ground. Extremely large vibrations are felt when you are running, so it is possible to create vibrations from the shins to the knees. When you walk in the city there are various scents and breezes, and these are also recreated.”

In these modern times the population is aging, so Ikei Laboratory would like for seniors who find it burdensome to go outside to be able to experience traveling around the world by using this equipment.


One response to “Virtual body technology uses 5 senses”

  1. Rick Abrams

    Virtual Presence will not work until it unleashes the participants from sitting in a chair.

    CAMERA: We need cameras which will follow a person who walks about the room.

    WALL MONITORS: we need large wall size monitors so that we can see the other person/s from any part of our room.

    We have the technology, but we are not packaging it correctly. The camera/s can be mounted anywhere in the room. They need not be on the small monitor screen. In fact more sophisticated systems can have multiple cameras in a single room.

    When I have friends over or have a business meeting, I do not root myself in one spot. If I move about the room, I can still see the other people in the room. With the obsolete set-up which we now use, I have to stay seated in front of a small monitor into to see the other side. With a huge wall monitor, I can glance up at the “other side” from whatever place I am in the room.

    There are other adaptations which would make Virtual Presence more effective. Some cameras may allow the viewer to focus on whomever the viewer wishes to see. This can be helpful if there are several people in a room.

    Other systems can have the option that the camera automatically focuses on the speaker.

    Other system can allow for worldwide meetings — For example, if I manufacture dresses in China, but live in Beverly Hills, and my attorney is in Santa Monica, and my designer is Paris, and my fabric supplier is in Singapore, each of us show have pictures within the large monitor. Thus, when my designer in Paris speaks, I should be able to enlarge his image and the other conferees’ pictures would become insets.

    It is imperative that we focus on the technologies that free us from siting in front of monitors.

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