June 10, 2016

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

By Scott Andersen

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality

This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success!

Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon take me away. The concept was simple, a mother or father frustrated with their day (and their children) whisked away by the wonderful Calgon bathing product. By soaking in the tub, all the troubles disappeared. Imagine having a really tough meeting. You walk back to your cube and wander off to the most beautiful place on earth (at least for you). You finish your working day enjoying a picnic in the foothills of the alps. Or you wander around your favorite shopping center. Virtual immersion offers so many possible ways to get away from where you are, while still being able to finish the things you have to do!

By clicking a button your cube becomes Waikiki beach in Hawaii or for the adventurous types, the main campus of the NSF Antarctic expedition. For people with fear you could help them gradually reduce that fear by introducing them to an environment with what they fear in it. But it would be an immersive environment that they knew was safe going in. So the fear could slowly be increased until it wasn’t as much of a fear.

Connected Sensations

The concept of Virtual Immersion© would be one step beyond Virtual Reality. Not only the auditory and visual experience but smells, feelings and sensations.  For young drives you would equip an immersive suite with a driving unit that responded similarly to a real car and let them loose. They wouldn’t ever hit anyone because it was a virtual road but they could learn about how to drive in rain and snow.  Instead of giving out tickets the police could pull people over for speeding and have them take a mandatory (right then) Virtual Immersion© defensive driving class. Or why not to drive in the HOV lane with only one person in the car. (or is that last one a counting issue, me, myself and I, Well I can use the HOV lane I have three people in the car).

Virtual Immersion© opens the door for family experiences. JIBO is a device built to aid elderly people who want to be independent. You could, with Virtual Immersion© be right there with your loved ones no matter where in the world you live. Surgeons could be there, experiencing the actual smells in the operating room (I think you nicked his bowel). Hospice organizations could offer a Virtual Immersion© experience for those that cannot travel as their loved one is passing. The value proposition for education, the ability of the remote instructor to see the faces, body language and behavior of the remote students. Perhaps a Virtual Immersion© (and uncomfortable) principal’s office for students that aren’t taking the instructors seriously.

The doors that this opens are amazing. I can’t thank the inspiration for this idea enough. The reality of Virtual Immersion© is the integration that could quickly be built into an IoT environment that supported the concept. A shirt with heating and cooling coils built in. A smell generator that allowed you to generate the smells of your favorite locations. An immersed future where everything would be possible.

Space Journey 

Want to experience outer space without, well the 3-day trip through space? Or for that matter virtually anywhere we can launch the VI apparatus. Movie experiences could be more real. You, right there with the main characters, smelling and feeling the same experiences. Walking out of the theater soaked in sweat. “Did you just run here?” A friend you bump into on the way out asks. “No” you answer “I just saw the new VI Dinosaur experience movie.

It will whisk you away from a bad day at work, by turning your cube into someplace you want to be. IT will increase productivity by allowing people to work in an environment that stimulates and encourages them to be productive. VI makes VR personal.

Plus, you won’t have to wonder what the bottom of the ocean smells like anymore, I mean if you do wonder that.

By Scott Anderson

Scott Andersen

Scott Andersen is the managing partner and Chief Technology Officer of Creative Technology & Innovation. During his 25+ years in the technology industry Scott has followed many technology trends down the rabbit hole. From early adopter to last person selecting a technology Scott has been on all sides. Today he loves spending time on his boat, with his family and backing many Kickstarter and Indiegogo projects.
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