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Manned flight [virtual reality simulation]

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1 Author(s)
Glassner, A. ; Microsoft Res., USA

I'd like to really know how a bird feels when it is flying, just as though my mind was in the bird's body. I think this is a dream that can come true in the next couple of decades. Computer graphics has pointed the way, by showing that we can simulate one human sense-vision. As we refine our synthetic images, we can make similar progress in other senses to let people envelop themselves in richly sensate worlds, both artificial and natural. Computer graphics begins by simulating the physics of the environment under study, determining the light falling on key parts of the scene. We can stop there if our goal is analytical, but to show the result to a person, we need to take a second step and get the image into the mind of the observer. We do this by transforming the computed data into a form that controls devices that stimulate our sense of sight. Computer graphics has validated the model of sense synthesis, showing that we can model, simulate and present an environment so well that, under controlled conditions, neutral observers cannot tell reality from simulation. As time progresses, I expect that this test will succeed for increasingly complex scenes, and we'll extend our abilities to the other human senses

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )