and Real-World Mind Games
Intrinsic Visceral Knowledge
From 1992 through 1994 at many conventions and trade shows, LEEP Systems demonstrated a telepresence system using the CyberFacae2 Stereo Head-Mounted Display using video signals provided by a stereo pair of remote cameras mounted on a the hand-holdable Telehead. When the wearer of the display and the holder of the "eyes" were slightly competitive friends, the screams and laughter would resound through hotel corridors and over the din of trade shows. The friend holding the eyes would have the victim crash into walls, spin and fly upside down, receive a punch or a finger in the eye and suffer endlessly creative other indignities.
It was the most exciting Virtual Reality demonstration in existence, and it may still be. Of special interest is a demonstration routine that included flying the victim, sometimes upside down, out an open second or third story window of our headquarters building. The special interest lies in the fact that invariably — invariably — the victim would reach out to grab the window frame to arrest his or her flight in spite of the fact that he or she was nowhere near the window, but ten or twenty feet safely away in the room.
Now the display used was blurry — the wearer was in effect legally blind. The field of view was about 140 degrees. All of the victims knew intellectually that they were in no danger, so why the panicky grab for the phantom window frame? Clearly the higher mental functions were out of the loop. There is something about a wide view that engages a visceral, reflexive response. Real research is called for, but the basic truth of the response is inescapable for both victims and the observers. We believe a fuller field will engage deep emotion, and who knows what sorts of memory, when provided as the setting for virtual experiences. We are convinced that Videowrap will enhance many virtual experiences beyond description.