May 20, 2018

"Will it soon be possible... to simulate the feeling of a spirit not attached to any particular physical form using virtual or augmented reality?"

"If so, a good place to start would be to figure out the minimal amount of body we need to feel a sense of self, especially in digital environments where more and more people may find themselves for work or play. It might be as little as a pair of hands and feet...."

From "In Virtual Reality, How Much Body Do You Need?/It might be as little as a pair of hands and feet, researchers in Japan found after recording subjects who wore an Oculus Rift headset." (NYT).


David Begley said...

Any surprise that Japan is in a demographic death spiral?

Caldwell P. Titcomb IV said...

David Begley said...
Any surprise that Japan is in a demographic death spiral?

The "Oculus Rift" company was started in California, then purchased by Facebook.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

We got an Oculus Rift for my son, while he was recovering from hip surgery. They are pretty impressive. You can pretty easily suspend disbelief, and really feel you are in that world. ( Enough so that one relative, while trying it out, tried to lean on a virtual table that was not there, and ended up pitching forward, hitting his head, and needing stitches. )

I don't think it gives a feeling of a spirit not attached to a physical form. You very much feel like your physical form it there with you.

rhhardin said...

(pointing to vat with brain in it) That's you over there.

jwl said...

"...a good place to start would be to figure out the minimal amount of body we need to feel a sense of self ..."

I agree with first two comments, a penis or vagina is also quite important in developing sense of self.

rhhardin said...

To really be in the world you need a dick.

Sebastian said...

Why a pair?

mikee said...

Pinky toe. Stubbed mine hard a week ago, still feeling it.

Carol said...

There is a reason the Church says the body will be resurrected along with the soul.

Bay Area Guy said...

InCells and Beta Males will use this to simulate sex.

pacwest said...

VR's holy grail is full immersion. Hands (dataglove with haptic feedback) and feet (Omni) are getting pretty good, but have a ways to go. Optics are getting better (foviated rendering). But until we get implants that can tell the brain what it is feeling and seeing, immersion will remain partial.

The main problem right now is that VR is content poor.

"To really be in the world you need a dick."

Tele-dildonics. It's already here. Have fun.

Qwinn said...

I'm a huge fan of the horrifically underrated technology known as 3D Vision from NVidia. Basically it's full 3D on your monitor screen (takes a special monitor), and you wear glasses to see it properly, not the huge helmet gear. And the 3D is FAR better than anything you've seen in a theater, believe me. And you can use your mouse and keyboard with it rather than those clunky hand controls, and you won't fall over trying to put your hand on a table that isn't there.

This technology has been out for many years, and is criminally neglected. Such a shame.

Leland said...

I just built a new pc for VR and got Oculus Rift. First, not that Oculus Rift is bad, but don't just look at Oculus or Vive, because Asus, Microsoft and Samsung all have systems with better resolution. Second, VR will change your viewing experience with just goggles. To me, it's like experiencing an IMAX. I think studios know this, which is why most VR video apps limit size.

As immersive as IMAX is, it takes a bit more to feel like you are in the world. Hands and feet add to the sense, but it only takes you a little way. Haptic helps provide some feeling to hands and feet, but there is no resistance for muscles. And yeah, if you are ok with living in a world without sex, then maybe hands and feet are all you need. I'm sure many are happy living without needing significant lung capacity, functioning kidneys, bladder, or a strong heart. You'd be like Neo, because it won't be air you are breathing in VR, but you won't know what steak really taste likes.

What VR doesn't provide is a hot sunny day at the beach, a cool refreshing breeze off the water, or soft warm touch of a loved one.

VR can provide you a larger than life viewing of Stormy Daniels for cheaper than $150,000, and you can still feel clean afterwards. Not sure you need feet for that or even virtual hands.

John Henry said...

At a trade show a couple years ago I got to try a welding simulator from Miller which is a large maker of welding equipment.

You put on a standard welding helmet with the VR screen instead of glass. The view was in the welding area of a NASCAR shop.

They gave me a stinger and had me weld a bead down the V of two pieces of plastic. It was hard to know that I was not really welding. The sound, the vibration in my hand from the arc, the light (and dimming of the screen like automatic welding masks do) the appearance of the weld bead was totally realistic.

So realistic that I thought I felt weld spatter on the back of my hand and asked how they managed that.

It also automatically evaluated the quality of my weld. Not just overall but graphically so I could see where I started a bit rough and got better towards the end of the pass. And said too close, too far, too fast etc.

I was seriously impressed.

It is a great tool for training welders.

Speaking of welders, if your kids are undecided between pursuing (something) Studies or learning something useful, have them watch this clip by Jay Leno on welding as a career.

John Henry

Seeing Red said...

Didn’t the Krell already find this out?

Bay Area Guy said...

"VR's holy grail is full immersion"

With some hot women, full immersion is my holy grail too.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Leland said...

VR can provide you a larger than life viewing of Stormy Daniels for cheaper than $150,000, and you can still feel clean afterwards. Not sure you need feet for that or even virtual hands.

If you still feel clean afterwards you are seriously missing the point.

Achilles said...

David Begley said...
Any surprise that Japan is in a demographic death spiral?

Combined with direct dopamine injection this will be the greatest threat to the human race moving forward IMO. Almost no person will be able to reject that level of addictive power.

The option of living in your perfect world, forever, with the source/root of all addiction injected directly to receptors in your brain.

As a libertarian it pains me to say the only way forward will be a very small number of people operating in a purely fascist matter ruthlessly crushing "dealers" and "users."

There will be planets full of husks stuck in Matrix like situations in the future. Someone will find a way to make them useful.

Achilles said...

If we don't find an artful way of destroying ourselves first.

traditionalguy said...

Perfect post for Pentecost Sunday, Professor.

Doc g said...

James Cameron already wrote this story. It’s a good movie with lots of sex

J. E. Malthaus said...

I once dated a man who, I was to discover later, was obsessed by pornography.

Myself, I have mixed feelings on the subject. I think some of it can certainly be demeaning, but it is also a choice that adults are free to make, so I am rather agnostic about it. Then again, I feel that way about people watching "Game of Thrones", so there is that.

I found out about his secret proclivities after he borrowed my laptop for a few days. His computer was down due to a virus -- which I now assume most likely came from an internet STD.

When he returned the computer I saw that there were folders that were not mine; inside those files were pictures of bestiality and child-porn.

I'm kidding: he wasn't that dumb. No, I just pieced it together when I clicked on some sites where the name would usually auto-fill with a letter or two, but no longer did so: he had emptied my cache and deleted all cookies.

Perhaps he did so to cover his tracks in some Bahamas bank money-laundering scheme, but he drove a late-nineties Volvo, so I knew it wasn't done to hide big money. Which left porn.

I later asked him about what kind of porn he watched on my laptop, and of course he denied anything of the sort. Which was the real problem: like I said, I'm agnostic about porn, but I'm pretty Old Testament when it comes to boyfriends lying to me.

Anyway: I have no idea where he is now, but -- regarding virtual-reality -- I'm pretty sure he's one of those guys who has a VR headset but doesn't play any video games.


Fred Drinkwater said...

I purge the cookies, caches, and various other items on my wife's laptop all the time, as part of basic hygiene.

J. E. Malthaus said...

"I purge the cookies, caches, and various other items on my wife's laptop all the time, as part of basic hygiene."

It wasn't just the mass-delete of my laptop that made me realize what he was up to.

I just didn't want to bring up some of his sex moves, because when a woman on the internet writes about sex all of the men get easily distracted.


Leland said...

I'll just say, not knowing what Stormy looks like without clothes is blissful. Most people look better with clothes, but clothes for her really hide a lot.

I built my VR system for flight simulation. Most PC flight sims do a great job in learning instrument flying, but you really do lack visual feel with just a flat screen monitor. The ability to look around quickly and get a visual fix in truly multiple directions/dimensions helps give a sense of depth. Hands would be helpful, but without tactile feel (haptic); the VR really is meaningless compared to none VR button operation. Besides, if you have a yoke/joystick and throttle, then you already have most of the real feel. I have rudder peddles, so my feet operate a physical device.

My first VR system was Samsung's VR for their phone. The available games all seemed too simplistic. Much of the video seemed geared to entertainment rather than education/training; and the entertainment seemed to focus heavily on looking at women between 18-25 wearing fun clothing. YouTube was the only video app that I could expand screen size significantly, which gives the IMAX effect. Netflix's VR app gives you a simulated room with a set screen size. It seemed no different than sitting in my actual living room and watching TV, which makes me wonder who want to use VR this way, unless they could only afford a 30" or less tv screen (with VR some how being a cheaper solution?).

After awhile, it seemed to next thing to check out was how porn would be on VR. It is impressive at first. But like everything, it has diminishing returns. More than hands and feet; I think it needed a date simulator type interaction. They have those too for VR, but if you ever tried one of those; you'll realize the date progression is faker than wrestling, porn, CNN or NYT. For me, not only do I want more than hands and feet; I want the soft warm touch of a real woman. VR porn misses the sensuality that Faith Hill notes in her song "Breathe", which is a sexy song!

I do see a good VR setup replacing the desire for a "theater" room.

tim in vermont said...

I can think of one other appendage.

tim in vermont said...

but he drove a late-nineties Volvo, so I knew it wasn’t done to hide big money.

Non-sequitor. I mean he probably wasn’t, but that doesn’t prove anything. The richer they are, the less showy the car, generally.

J. Farmer said...

@David Begley:

Any surprise that Japan is in a demographic death spiral?

That is actually a myth promulgated by the globalist set. It's a regular topic of outlets like The Economist and Business Insider. These same forces continually put pressure on Japan (unsuccessfully thus far) for them to end their restrictionist immigration policies. The Japanese thus far have sensibly resisted the absurd argument that their survival relies on importing huge numbers of low-skilled third-worlders.

tim in vermont said...

You know what, for all of its problems, the real world is pretty great from a fully-immersed experience point of view. But maybe I am just saying that because a hot lady just gave me her phone number...

tim in vermont said...

All kidding aside, I really and truly don’t get the attraction. I like the real world. It’s enough.

Anonymous said...

Why would anyone want to simulate such a thing? This alienation from one's own bodily and animal existence is just really odd.

John henry said...

J Farmer,

But Japan's population IS falling, as well as getting older. A real quick search turned up this:

And not by an inconsiderable amount either: The 2010 census showed a population of 128,057,352, but the 2015 figure, released Friday, shows just 127,110,000.

More detail at the link:

It also points out that nearly a third of Japan's population is over 65. Again, by Japanese census.

And fertility rate is a serious problem:

The birthrate had been inching up after hitting a historic low of 1.26 in 2005 — until it fell by 0.01 point in 2014 from the previous year to 1.42. In any case, the rate remains far below the 2.07 deemed necessary to maintain the population — a level that has not been recorded in Japan since 1973.

John Henry