This likely should be a metaphysical article rather than a technical one, perhaps I’ll get to that later. I first learned about presence from an article on Tech Crunch: First Rule Of VR: Don’t Break The Presence. Occulus’ CEO Brendan Iribe thinks it’s key to the future of VR.
The definition of presence that I want to focus on is created by a fantastic immersive experience in Virtual Reality (VR). Presence is the feeling of fooling the animal part of your brain into believing what you are seeing and hearing is real. It takes a lot to produce this. Goggles, good headphones, a control method that feels natural all contribute to Presence.
The idea has been around a while. Janet Weisenberger and Roy Ruddle are Co-Editors-in-Chief of the longest-established academic journal that is devoted to research into teleoperation and virtual environments (3D virtual reality worlds), they have a magazine called Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments is filled with stimulating material about fundamental research into topics such as presence, augmented reality, haptics, user interfaces, and virtual humans, and applications that range from heritage and education to training simulators, healthcare, and entertainment.
Hunter Hoffman Ph.D. wrote about Presence in CyberPsychology, his article is entitled The Illusion of Presence in Immersive Virtual Reality during an fMRI Brain Scan. In this article, they describe how the brain reacts to moving into a feeling of presence. The illusion worked so well that it that enabled successful pain reduction in spite of having an immobilized head and loud ambient noise of an MRI machine. It was also found to help with exposure therapy for phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you see the future in VR as I do you may want to invest in Presence, the Virtual and Augmented Reality Venture Fund. Presence Capital is an investment firm that believes virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are technologies that are going to transform our world. We invest in and support talented and passionate entrepreneurs who are utilizing these technologies to bring new and exceptional ways of communicating, working, and playing to market.