New human experiences

Figure 1.22: (a) In 2014, Epic Games created a wild roller coaster ride through virtual living room. (b) A guillotine simulator was made in 2013 by Andre Berlemont, Morten Brunbjerg, and Erkki Trummal. Participants were hit on the neck by friends as the blade dropped, and they could see the proper perspective as their heads rolled.
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(a) & (b)

Finally, the point might be to simply provide a new human experience. Through telepresence, people can try experiences through the eyes of robots or other people. However, we can go further by giving people experiences that are impossible (or perhaps deadly) in the real world. Most often, artists are the ones leading this effort. The Birdly experience of human flying (Figure 1.1) was an excellent example. Figure 1.22 shows two more. What if we change our scale? Imagine being 2mm tall and looking ants right in the face. Compare that to being 50m tall and towering over a city while people scream and run from you. What if we simulate the effect of drugs in your system? What if you could become your favorite animal? What if you became a piece of food? The creative possibilities for artists seem to be endless. We are limited only by what our bodies can comfortably handle. Exciting adventures lie ahead!

Steven M LaValle 2020-01-06