Computer Science Colloquium: How Touch and Smell Can Turn Virtual Technology into Real Excitement

Friday, October 27, 2017, 3:00pm

Speaker: Horst Eidenberger, TU Wien

Location: Room 5053.2 (in front of AH 6), Ahornstr. 55


The current virtual reality hype has been going on for three years now. In contrast to earlier hypes in the late 1990ies and the mid 2000s it has reached the consumer market and introduced – in addition to the classic audiovisual stimuli – a number of haptic devices that augment the virtual reality (VR) experience by the sensations of wind, warmth and zero gravity, to name a few – thus increasing the level of immersion, the cognitive phenomenon of falling into the virtual and forgetting the outside world. After a short introduction to VR, we will endeavor to carve out what science knows about the nature of excitement as a brain process, how it is triggered by perceptual stimuli, and how we bend physical reality to our psychological needs in perception. Then, we will introduce some of the most intriguing recent efforts to introduce tactile stimuli into the VR world – of course, without missing the opportunity to promote our own humble works at TU Wien in the Jumpcube and other projects. One of the outstanding features of the Jumpcube project is the Vragrancer, one of the first systems for the orchestration of virtual reality with olfactory stimuli. Eventually, on the foundation of the provided information we will speculate on future trends in VR as well as on potentials of VR technology for media applications.

The computer science lecturers invite interested people to join.