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If (Virtual) Reality Feels Almost Right, It's Exactly Wrong

April 23, 2018 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Scientific American

How adding touch to VR can lead to an "uncanny valley" of sensations--and what we can do about it

We can all remember the crisply beveled edges of our cheery-yellow No. 2 pencil, the cool, smooth feel of a chalk-powdered blackboard, the gritty red bricks of the schoolhouse walls. Surely that all wasn't just an illusion?

No, of course not.

But--as it turns out--it kind of is.

The sense of touch (and indeed, all of our senses) is more or less illusory because no sensation stands alone. Stretch out your hands and snap your fingers. This, of course, feels very real. But you're seeing your fingers, hearing your fingers, and feeling your fingers--and all of these sensations fully correspond.

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