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Is The Subjective Feel of ‘Presence’ an Uninteresting Goal?

Abstract : An ideal goal of virtual reality technology is to deliver a complete visual and sensorimotor duplicate of an object: a fully integrated haptic and visual set of stimuli that would make us feel as if we are in the " presence " of the real object in an ordinary situation. The goal is very ambitious, but what is a measure of success? An analysis of presence is much needed, and one of the main tenets of our paper is that an empirical study of the psychological aspects of the feel of presence would constitute the pivotal element of such an analysis; we shall argue that some interesting lessons can be learned about the ideal goal. To sustain our argument, we consider two case studies in turn. The tunnel effect case teaches us that actual stimulation is neither necessary nor sufficient to convey presence. The picture case teaches us that it is possible to learn how to interact to a high degree of success with very impoverished stimuli and successfully compensate for poor stimulation. Research should be thus oriented not towards potentially useless and costly " duplication " of reality, but towards the unexplored potentialities offered by new and complex interfaces.
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Roberto Casati, Elena Pasquinelli. Is The Subjective Feel of ‘Presence’ an Uninteresting Goal?. Journal of Visual Language and Computing, 2005, 16 (5), pp.428-441. ⟨10.1016/j.jvlc.2004.12.003⟩. ⟨ijn_01627167⟩

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