Design and Systems

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Professor Erich Schöls of the Steinbeis research centre for design and systems referred to the previous history of such experiences. Enhanced or completely generated perception models are not really new. The first trailblazing experiments in this direction go back to the 1950s, when pioneers such as Fred Waller, Morton Heilig or Ivan Sutherland began investigating stereoscopic images, interaction models and scientific questions on the effects of reality simulations.

According to Schöls, in recent years hardware has become widely available which allows a far-sighted view of what we can expect in the foreseeable future: “Virtual perceptive environments that take the human consciousness into dimensions which previously only existed in our imagination or dreams. Even today, the level of immersion is so high in some applications that an almost natural interaction by humans with the generic, artificial backdrop is possible. In the process more and more senses are included, and increasingly natural interaction models are implemented. The path from reality to the virtual world is fluid.”

However, Schöls also drew attention to the acceptance barriers that virtual technologies have still to overcome: “Although extended reality applications are increasingly establishing themselves in industry, culture and society, many people still feel slightly unsure about immersion into completely artificial environments.” The professor is however sure that these hurdles will be overcome as time passes: “This will soon change with increasingly useful applications and further technological improvements. People will come to appreciate cyberspace as a useful and interesting enrichment with enormous potentials.”