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  • Immersion into virtual reality is a perception of being physically present

  • in a non-physical world. The perception is created by surrounding the user of

  • the VR system in images, sound or other stimuli that provide an engrossing total

  • environment. The name is a metaphoric use of the

  • experience of submersion applied to representation, fiction or simulation.

  • Immersion can also be defined as the state of consciousness where a "visitor"

  • or "immersant"’s awareness of physical self is transformed by being surrounded

  • in an artificial environment; used for describing partial or complete

  • suspension of disbelief, enabling action or reaction to stimulations encountered

  • in a virtual or artistic environment. The degree to which the virtual or

  • artistic environment faithfully reproduces reality determines the degree

  • of suspension of disbelief. The greater the suspension of disbelief, the greater

  • the degree of presence achieved. Types of immersion

  • According to Ernest W. Adams, author and consultant on game design, immersion can

  • be separated into three main categories: Tactical immersion

  • Tactical immersion is experienced when performing tactile operations that

  • involve skill. Players feel "in the zone" while perfecting actions that

  • result in success. Strategic immersion

  • Strategic immersion is more cerebral, and is associated with mental challenge.

  • Chess players experience strategic immersion when choosing a correct

  • solution among a broad array of possibilities.

  • Narrative immersion Narrative immersion occurs when players

  • become invested in a story, and is similar to what is experienced while

  • reading a book or watching a movie. Staffan Björk and Jussi Holopainen, in

  • Patterns In Game Design, divide immersion into similar categories, but

  • call them sensory-motoric immersion, cognitive immersion and emotional

  • immersion, respectively. In addition to these, they add a new category:

  • Spatial immersion Spatial immersion occurs when a player

  • feels the simulated world is perceptually convincing. The player

  • feels that he or she is really "there" and that a simulated world looks and

  • feels "real". Presence

  • Virtual reality glasses can produce a visceral feeling of being in a simulated

  • world, a form of spatial immersion called Presence. According to Oculus VR,

  • the technology requirements to achieve this visceral reaction are low-latency

  • and precise tracking of movements. Michael Abrash gave a talk on VR at

  • Steam Dev Days in 2014. According to the VR research team at Valve, all of the

  • following are needed to establish presence.

  • A wide field of view Adequate resolution

  • Low pixel persistence A high enough refresh rate

  • Global display where all pixels are illuminated simultaneously

  • Optics Optical calibration

  • Rock-solid trackingtranslation with millimeter accuracy or better,

  • orientation with quarter degree accuracy or better, and volume of 1.5 meter or

  • more on a side Low latency

  • Immersive virtual reality Immersive virtual reality is a

  • hypothetical future technology that exists today as virtual reality art

  • projects, for the most part. It consists of immersion in an artificial

  • environment where the user feels just as immersed as they usually feel in

  • consensus reality. = Direct interaction of the nervous

  • system = The most considered method would be to

  • induce the sensations that made up the virtual reality in the nervous system

  • directly. In functionalism/conventional biology we interact with consensus

  • reality through the nervous system. Thus we receive all input from all the senses

  • as nerve impulses. It gives your neurons a feeling of heightened sensation. It

  • would involve the user receiving inputs as artificially stimulated nerve

  • impulses, the system would receive the CNS outputs and process them allowing

  • the user to interact with the virtual reality. Natural impulses between the

  • body and central nervous system would need to be prevented. This could be done

  • by blocking out natural impulses using nanorobots which attach themselves to

  • the brain wiring, whilst receiving the digital impulses of which describe the

  • virtual world, which could then be sent into the wiring of the brain. A feedback

  • system between the user and the computer which stores the information would also

  • be needed. Considering how much information would be required for such a

  • system, it is likely that it would be based on hypothetical forms of computer

  • technology. = Requirements =

  • Understanding of the nervous system A comprehensive understanding of which

  • nerve impulses correspond to which sensations, and which motor impulses

  • correspond to which muscle contractions will be required. This will allow the

  • correct sensations in the user, and actions in the virtual reality to occur.

  • The Blue Brain Project is the current, most promising research with the idea of

  • understanding how the brain works by building very large scale computer

  • models. Ability to manipulate CNS

  • The nervous system would obviously need to be manipulated. Whilst non-invasive

  • devices using radiation have been postulated, invasive cybernetic implants

  • are likely to become available sooner and be more accurate. Manipulation could

  • occur at any stage of the nervous systemthe spinal cord is likely to be

  • simplest; as all nerves pass through here, this could be the only site of

  • manipulation. Molecular Nanotechnology is likely to provide the degree of

  • precision required and could allow the implant to be built inside the body

  • rather than be inserted by an operation. Computer hardware/software to process

  • inputs/outputs A very powerful computer would be

  • necessary for processing virtual reality complex enough to be nearly

  • indistinguishable from consensus reality and interacting with central nervous

  • system fast enough. Immersive digital environments

  • An immersive digital environment is an artificial, interactive,

  • computer-created scene or "world" within which a user can immerse themselves.

  • Immersive digital environments could be thought of as synonymous with Virtual

  • reality, but without the implication that actual "reality" is being

  • simulated. An immersive digital environment could be a model of reality,

  • but it could also be a complete fantasy user interface or abstraction, as long

  • as the user of the environment is immersed within it. The definition of

  • immersion is wide and variable, but here it is assumed to mean simply that the

  • user feels like they are part of the simulated "universe". The success with

  • which an immersive digital environment can actually immerse the user is

  • dependent on many factors such as believable 3D computer graphics,

  • surround sound, interactive user-input and other factors such as simplicity,

  • functionality and potential for enjoyment. New technologies are

  • currently under development which claim to bring realistic environmental effects

  • to the players' environmenteffects like wind, seat vibration and ambient

  • lighting. = Perception =

  • To create a sense of full immersion, the 5 senses must perceive the digital

  • environment to be physically real. Immersive technology can perceptually

  • fool the senses through: Panoramic 3D displays

  • Surround sound acoustics Haptics and force feedback

  • Smell replication Taste replication

  • = Interaction = Once the senses reach a sufficient

  • belief that the digital environment is real, the user must then be able to

  • interact with the environment in a natural, intuitive manner. Various

  • immersive technologies such as gestural controls, motion tracking, and computer

  • vision respond to the user's actions and movements. Brain control interfaces

  • respond to the user's brainwave activity.

  • = Examples and applications = Training and rehearsal simulations run

  • the gamut from part task procedural training through situational simulation

  • to full motion simulations which train pilots or soldiers and law enforcement

  • in scenarios that are too dangerous to train in actual equipment using live

  • ordinance. Computer games from simple arcade to

  • Massively multiplayer online game and training programs such as flight and

  • driving simulators. Entertainment environments such as motion simulators

  • that immerse the riders/players in a virtual digital environment enhanced by

  • motion, visual and aural cues. Reality simulators, such as one of the Virunga

  • Mountains in Rwanda that takes you on a trip through the jungle to meet a tribe

  • of Mountain Gorillas. Or training versions such as one which simulates

  • taking a ride through human arteries and the heart to witness the buildup of

  • plaque and thus learn about cholesterol and health.

  • In parallel with scientist, artists like Knowbotic Research, Donna Cox, Rebecca

  • Allen, Robbie Cooper, Maurice Benayoun, Char Davies, and Jeffrey Shaw use the

  • potential of immersive virtual reality to create physiologic or symbolic

  • experiences and situations. Other examples of immersion technology

  • include physical environment / immersive space with surrounding digital

  • projections and sound such as the CAVE, and the use of head-mounted displays for

  • viewing movies, with head-tracking and computer control of the image presented,

  • so that the viewer appears to be inside the scene.. The next generation is

  • VIRTSIM, which achieves total immersion through motion capture and wireless head

  • mounted displays for teams of up to thirteen immersants enabling natural

  • movement through space and interaction in both the virtual and physical space

  • simultaneously. The use of immersive virtual reality in

  • the medical care New fields of studies linked to the

  • immersive virtual reality emerges every day. Researchers see a great potential

  • in virtual reality tests serving as complementary interview methods in

  • psychiatric care. Immersive virtual reality have in studies also been used

  • as an educational tool in which the visualization of psychotic states have

  • been used to get increased understanding of patients with similar symptoms. New

  • treatment methods are available for Schizophrenia and other newly developed

  • research areas where immersive virtual reality is expected to achieve

  • melioration is in education of surgical procedures, rehabilitation program from

  • injuries and surgeries and reduction of phantom limb pain.

  • Detrimental effects Simulation sickness, or simulator

  • sickness, is a condition where a person exhibits symptoms similar to motion

  • sickness caused by playing computervideo games.

  • Motion sickness due to virtual reality is very similar to simulation sickness

  • and motion sickness due to films. In virtual reality, however, the effect is

  • made more acute as all external reference points are blocked from

  • vision, the simulated images are three-dimensional and in some cases

  • stereo sound that may also give a sense of motion. Studies have shown that

  • exposure to rotational motions in a virtual environment can cause

  • significant increases in nausea and other symptoms of motion sickness.

  • Other behavioural changes such as stress, addiction, isolation and mood

  • changes are also discussed to be side-effects caused by immersive virtual

  • reality. See also

  • Alternate reality game Cave automatic virtual environment

  • Environmental sculpture Escapism

  • Immersive design Immersive technology

  • Interactive art Motion sickness

  • Narrative transportation Neo-conceptual art

  • Simulated reality Simulation sickness

  • Sound art Sound installation

  • Video installation Virtual art

  • Footnotes References

  • External links Annual Summit on Immersive Technology