Tag: Society of Simulations

Society of Simulations

Interview: Jeremy Bailenson on his latest book “Experience on Demand”

Virtual reality has come a long way. Like most technological leaps, it’s had a huge push from the entertainment industry, but current applications span a wide range of social and academic fields. Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, has just released his new book, Experience on Demand. We briefly spoke with him about some of the most game-changing applications of this fascinating medium – as well as the risks.

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Society of Simulations

Researchers are using VR to help teachers understand autism

Researchers are using VR as an empathy tool to help neurotypical teachers understand their students with autism. There have already been attempts to use VR to help autistic children and adults find new ways of coping. Autism Speaks, for example, funds a virtual reality training program designed to help improve social skills. But a team of researchers at the University of Malta decided to work on the problem from the other direction — namely, using VR to help teachers understand the lived experience of autistic children.

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Society of Simulations

Skiing on Mars? It’s possible!

For those experiencing symptoms of motion sickness in VR, it’s now possible to step inside a real-life simulation of what it could be like to ski on mars. Last week, desert dust from North Africa hit the pistes in Eastern Europe, covering the lush white landscape in eerie orange snow. “We’re skiing on Mars today,” exclaimed one social media user as he skied down the slopes. This makes us wonder: Do we still have genuine experiences at all, or are we living in a society of simulations?

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Society of Simulations

Is eSports really sport?

First things first. Sport is a next nature: Whereas our ancient ancestors had to hunt for their food, our modern tribes simply visit the supermarket. With all this free time left on our hands, we invented a new pastime: sports. Yet, a current trend to simulate sports is to participate in eSports, a large industry that’s currently growing up around competitive online gaming. Let’s look at how eSports is taking the ‘sports’ world by storm.

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Smartphone statue
Society of Simulations

19th Century Sculpture Seems to Be Holding a Smartphone

Today’s peculiar image comes from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Take a second look. No, the woman depicted in the sculpture isn’t holding a smartphone. If at first glance you thought she was, you wouldn’t be alone. The sculpture, Erastus Dow Palmer’s “The Indian Girl” (1856), actually depicts a Native American woman holding a crucifix. But in the last few years, visitors have had a quite different impression of the piece. In our smartphone-saturated world, it’s hard to see a figure looking intently at an object in its hand without instantly assuming it’s a phone. Looking at the past through the eyes of the present can have uncanny results!

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Intimate Technology

Proposing with a Phone Case

We like to share our achievements and happiness with the world. For many couples, the engagement moment is especially worth sharing. The Internet is crawling with proposal videos, and probably many more will come. The purpose and context of the marriage proposal seem to be shifting from a private moment to a public spectacle to catch on camera.

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ar city
Society of Simulations

AR City: Paving the Way for Augmented Reality Navigation

Over the last decade, devices with Global Positioning System, commonly abbreviated as GPS, have proved to be powerful tools in assisting users navigate through city streets. Admittedly, they are not always as accurate as one would desire. In fact, they often spark off discussions as to who was right or wrong in interpreting the indication saying “turn left after 100 meters”. Whoever has been down that road before will find in augmented reality applications a promising alternative for achieving a more accurate and successful navigation. At least that is what Blippar’s AR City app claims to be.

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