Copyright © 2005-2007 Isabel Pedersen
Virtual Realism is a fascinating exploration of virtual reality in conceptual terms. Particularly interesting is Heim’s analysis of “first-person,” tunnel perspective which he believes we ought to avoid when designing VR:
Virtual design stands at the crossroads of interactivity. Two models of world-building beckon: the tunnel and the spiral. The tunnel sucks us further into technology. The tunnel molds human perception to push forward, to ignore peripheral awareness, to fixate. The spiral, on the contrary, rotates us in virtual worlds that return us to ourselves, that deepen the wide-angle awareness of ourselves as primary bodies. The tunnel teaches us to maintain first-person perspective while the spiral attunes us to others from whom we learn about ourselves. The tunnel feeds us more information. The spiral aspires to wisdom. (Virtual Realism 98)
Heim also provides a definition of Augmented Reality (AR). Interestingly, he limits AR to the visual while other scholars do not limit the definition to a particular sense.
Augmented Reality The superimposition of computer-generated data over the primary vision field. An operating surgeon, for instance, may wear dataglasses to augment the perception of the patient’s body, thereby gaining continually updated information on vital signs. The jet fighter’s heads-up display is an early form of augmented reality. (Heim Virtual Realism 210)