October 21, 2012

Where artificial stops and reality takes control.

Regarding the reading on Bolter and Grusin I found it pretty interesting and relatable being a child of the twenty first century it can easily be transferred to what our six year old kids are asking for on their Christmas list. Regarding telepresance it can be seen in what new discoveries or records our engineers and dare devils attempt to break this time. The authors explain that ubiquitous computing is virtual realities opposite number from the examples they give it made it clear to understand. It also allowed me to actually think of times I have experienced either types of technology. Through the use of virtual reality we are constrained to using one of our senses which is sight, and even then we are limited to what the computer shows us. The other day I was watching the red bull stunt man making a jump from space into the Earth’s stratosphere. To me this is a perfect example of virtual reality. Step by step I as a viewer from home sitting on my couch had a presence of what it would be like to jump from space. Here is where the issue with virtual reality begins continually the camera screen was switching from the perspective of stunt man to being outside the rocket. Although I could see him unclick his seat belt and leap off the air craft I was missing a few key things to make this my own reality. I did not get to feel the impact of gravity upon me as my foot left the ship. I did not get to feel any pressure or heat consuming my body as I fell from the sky, or the smell of water and gravel as I parachuted over landscapes.  

Ubiquitous computing is available to even children as young as five. I know last year my mother got my little sister a WII for Christmas. WII sports allows you to put yourself in the shoes of these characters you have created to compose your personal features and participate in activities such as tennis, baseball, and boxing. If you decide to play tennis you can actually feel the vibrations created from a serve. You’re not constricted to what someone wants to show you it has created a world which is in imitation to the one we live in. Once again what is missing here is the use of all senses. We do not get to feel the heat or ground beneath our feet. Both instances provide things that are appealing and useful to us but at the same time create limitations. We are always going to want more in regard to accepting a “reality”. You can see in commercials with the use of skype or face time it creates a virtual reality. But even in these commercials you see the actors doing things to make them feel even closer or to feel like they are really there. They tend to do this by turning the channel to the same thing or eating oreo cookies at the same time. Through these mediums we can come close to our physical world, but virtual reality is only deemed artificial, never a true reality. 


Catalina said...

The hypermediacy you described for young children is a very interesting problem. Are they old enough to recognize the hypermediacy or have they been so entrenched that the ubiquitous computing has become a transparent medium, something expected and everyday, as normal a technology as a pair of scissors or a book? Is this how mature video games result in violent children, because they are being raised on technology, instead of being introduced to it as an external technology? Is our hypermedia just transparency for them? If so, that generation may revolutionize advertising and marketing and the design of the next text technologies. Should companies draw our attention to new technologies -- such as the release of the first iPhone -- in order to make them ubiquitous, or can they be more effective by skipping that step, just slipping them into our culture -- like the release of the iPhone 5? The new release is so everyday -- it is expected that there is a new model, that it is better than the previous model. It made barely a ripple, instantly slipping into the internet culture of memes. We are conscious of our technology, but it has passed from the forefront of our minds. This isn't quite transparency, but perhaps a new kind of transparency through hypermediacy. This could be similar to the way hyperadvertising desensitizes us to ads and companies but we are made more sensitive to their presence all the same because we have internalized them.

Bridgette Balderson said...

In reading your post I think I kind of understand what the difference is between telepresence and virtual reality is. Telepresence should be something that can be seen through a technology like when you described watching Felix Baumgartner skydive into the stratosphere. You described virtual reality as being one or some of our senses being constrained. Telepresence allowed you to witness the space jump, but the virtual reality of the jump limited you only to sight and sound. So, what I'm wondering is do we need to physically feel something to experience virtual reality? So, where would Disney's Mission Space fit in? It uses telepresence to show us space, but through motion technology and we also get to "feel" how space would feel, yet in a very limited sense. But then, you also bring up Wii Sports. You are definitely using your senses of touch, sight, and sound to "play" baseball. I mean, to an extent you ARE playing baseball, but virtual baseball. You are physically playing a fake game of baseball, but you are still engaging in acknowledging this technology as a game of real baseball. Is it really a virtual reality if you're doing it in real time? Or is virtual reality just plain ol' reality now that we've accepted so much technology into our everyday lives?

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