Adrian David Cheok on virtual senses for the internet
|Name:||Adrian David Cheok|
|Position:||Director of the Imagineering Institute Malaysia, Chair Professor of Pervasive Computing at City University London, Founder and Director of the Mixed Reality Lab Singapore|
|Thema:||Virtual senses for the internet|
Nowadays, we mostly perceive our digital world by viewing text and images or hearing audio. But what about the rest of our senses?
Adrian Cheok, Director of the Imagineering Institute Malaysia, founded the Mixed Reality Lab in Singapore and tries to integrate the rest of our senses, like smelling or tasting, into our digital experience. “What do we need digital smells and tastes for anyway?”, one might ask.
Those senses are of big importance for influencing emotion. Every day we can experience how smells can change our mood, e.g. when eating a delicious meal.
The possibilities for using digital senses are widely spread: games, films, messaging and communication over social networks or telephone, but also commercial usage like advertisement.
Cheok’s Mixed Reality Lab develops devices that stimulate our senses with electrical signals, “because we can’t send the chemicals over the internet”, that are normally needed for these body-reactions, explains Prof. Cheok. As he puts it, we already live in our own “analog virtual reality” with our brain as a device to perceive the world surrounding us. That’s why he believes that the step to a digital virtual reality will not be a very big one.
Might there be a danger in replacing our “real life” with digital virtual reality?
According to Cheok, differences will become smaller, “but society will adapt”. Kissing or marrying a robot in the future may be as normal as human marriage today.
Nonetheless, the focus of his research is not in replacing our life with digital experiences, but in expanding the analog life by adding digital impressions.