The Ikei Laboratory of Tokyo Metropolitan University Graduate School of System Design is developing virtual body technology that utilizes the five senses. In addition to using conventional audio and video footage , this technology can recreate smells as well as the feel of the wind and of stepping on the ground.
“This exhibition of a virtual body is for the purpose of having a vicarious experience. This technology aims to enable various experiences as if having assumed a different person’s body. This exhibition gives people the opportunity to vicariously experience traveling in Milan and running the world record 100-meter dash of famous athlete Usain Bolt.”
The exhibition is made up of a 3D monitor,, headphones, a fan to create a breeze and spread scents, a chair that leans back and forth and vibrates partially, and foot pedals. These work together to stimulate the five senses of the subject fixed in his or her seat, creating a virtual vicarious experience.
“The chair will move to provide directional and vestibular sensations. The legs will move to create a sense of actually walking or running and a sense of moving in parallel or up and down, or to create a sensation as if the feet are touching the ground. Extremely large vibrations are felt when you are running, so it is possible to create vibrations from the shins to the knees. When you walk in the city there are various scents and breezes, and these are also recreated.””
In these modern times the population is aging, so Ikei Laboratory would like for seniors who find it burdensome to go outside to be able to experience traveling around the world by using this equipment.