It’s eleven years since I explored the shared 3D world of Second Life. The University of Edinburgh owns a virtual island there, and in 2006 I was gifted a small promontory of land on which to conduct some experiments. This playground nook was always a mess. One of our team created a stylised version of … Continue reading
High resolution display screens, motion and touch sensors, interaction with other people and virtual objects, channels that deliver sound, touch, taste and smell, stereo vision and sound, all wrapped into a 360 degree 3D sphere of experience — that’s the dream and expectation of VR (virtual reality). Is 360 degree video on the way to that ideal? … Continue reading
Cyberspace has been hijacked by cybercriminals, cyberterrorists, cyberwarriors and cybervigilantes. But is it a real place? Sometimes artless questions like “Is cyberspace real?” turn out to reveal more than the interrogator bargained for. Not only is it real, but surreal. Eventually, any cultural theorist investigating the problems of reality alights on the work of Jacques Lacan (1901-1981), the psychoanalyst and philosopher whose … Continue reading
Four years ago when excitement about the 3D role-playing environment SecondLife was in full frenzy, a group of us constructed a playground promontory on the edge of the University’s main island. We built walls that changed their surface patterns and moved about in response to signals from mobile phones (in physical life). It was a … Continue reading
Many people take it for granted that we occupy two worlds: the physical and the virtual. In 1997 MIT digital researchers Ishii and Ullmer stated that people potentially “live between two realms: our physical environment and cyberspace” (Ishii and Ullmer, 1997). They took on the challenge of developing digital devices that connect the two spaces together.