>Interestingly, on Nightline with Ted Kopel later on, Jaron Lanier was >interviewed on his thoughts of where VR is heading. I was surprised to >hear that he believes that VR will never be "too" realistic and that it >will always be somewhat "computerish looking." I don't agree with this >assessment. It all depends of technology. I mean TV looks pretty >realistic now, but didn't in the beginning. I think technology will >eventually support any level of realism desired.
Do you have a reason for believing technology will eventually support any level of realism desired, other than "well, technology has always improved a lot"?
I think the analogy with TV is a poor one. Like photography, TV is _primarily_ "mimetic" (note the qualification, all of you conceptual video artists can put down your pitchfoks!). TV achieves a representation of "nature" by taking an example of "nature", feeding it into a black box, transmitting the resulting signal, feeding the signal into another black box, and out pops the end product. The trick is to fine-tune the transformations in the black boxes so as to preserve the necessary aspects of the original "natural model". Note that the difference between early TV and modern TV in terms of how "realistic" it looks is far smaller than the same difference between today's VR and "real reality".
VR, as described today, is more like painting that photography; more specifically, painting things for which one has no available model. The quest for realistic, interactive VR involves simulating physics "from scratch" rather than letting physics do most of the work and then performing a transformation on the end product. -- Erich Schneider er...@bush.cs.tamu.edu