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"The possibilities of virtual realities, it appears, are as limitless as the possibilities of reality. They can provide a human interface that disappears – a doorway to other worlds."
VIEW virtual reality workstation from NASA-Ames

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Click to play video Demonstration of the VIEW System

Scott Fisher | Telepresence <1985>

Scott Fisher's seminal research in virtual reality was conducted in the late 1980s at the NASA-Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, where he worked on the Virtual Environment Workstation (VIEW) project. Fisher set out to develop an interface that would engage all the senses, thrusting the viewer into a realm of full sensory immersion. The NASA system included an updated version of the head-mounted display, with stereoscopic images that provided stereoscopic depth of field, a major advancement over the monoscopic vision of Ivan Sutherland's earlier device. Fisher added headphones for 3D audio, a microphone for speech recognition, and, in collaboration with Tom Zimmerman, adapted the "dataglove" – the wired glove worn by the user that makes it possible to grasp virtual objects in cyberspace.

This multi-sensory interaction with cybernetic devices created the powerful illusion of entering a digitized landscape. By pursing Morton Heilig's concept of experience theater, Fisher made a significant advance toward what he termed "telepresence" – the projection of the self into a virtual world.