Archive for May 18th, 2015

May 18, 2015


immersion by stuart goldberg


Presence is the illusion that a virtual experience is real. Today, it often considers the effect that people experience when they interact with a computer-mediated or computer-generated environment. This use of the term derives from the word ‘telepresence,’ coined by MIT professor Marvin Minsky in 1980, which he described as the manipulation of objects in the real world through remote access technology. For example, a surgeon may use a computer to control robotic arms to perform minute procedures on a patient in another room. Or a NASA technician may use a computer to control a rover to collect rock samples on Mars.

As technologies progressed, the need for an expanded term arose. Thomas Sheridan (also of MIT, and a pioneer of robotics and remote control technology) extrapolated Minsky‚Äôs original definition. Using the shorter ‘presence,’ Sheridan explained that the term refers to the effect felt when controlling real world objects remotely as well as the effect people feel when they interact with and immerse themselves in virtual reality or virtual environments.

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