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Sensory Underload: What’s Next For Sensory Stimulation?

Sensory Underload: What’s Next For Sensory Stimulation?

Despite their current surge in popularity, motion pictures in 3 dimensions are nothing new. First appearing on the big screen in 1922 with the release of Harry K. Fairhall and Robert F. Elder’s The Power of Love by using a simple modified stereoscope, 3D technology has become the hottest trend in contemporary cinema. The combination of face-scraping images and body-pulsating sound has made recent 3D blockbusters like Avatar and Tron: Legacy a sensory adventure for the eyes and ears, especially when viewed on a 72 foot high IMAX screen, but what about our other 3 senses? How can we incorporate taste, touch, and smell to make the ultimate sensory experience? To answer these questions, I turned to the attendees at the Queen City Roller Girls: Devil Dollies 3D Art Show to get their opinion on the future of 3D technology, and their thoughts for new sensory innovations.

Name: Pepper Stix, Devil Dollie

What is your roller derby name, and how did you come up with it?

Pepper Stix. It’s a combination of a nickname that I had when I was a kid and I’ve always loved the name Pepper.

We see all of these blockbuster action movies in 3D now, and here we have a 3D art show, what do you think the next big sensory innovation will be?

I heard about some advertising now where you walk down the isles in the supermarket and they actually have scents.  As you walk by a product a scent is released.

With movies in 3D and video games like Xbox Kinect, which use a camera to actually project the human body into the game, are we close to a full-fledged virtual reality? How close?

Closer then we ever have been, I do think so yeah, the way that 3D is so popular right now and just like you said the video games, the Kinect and things like that it’s getting closer and closer. Pretty soon we’re gonna be able to put on that mask and go into this alternate dimension.  It’s pretty cool.

Why do you think it has taken so long for 3D technology to enter our homes?

Probably the biggest thing would be the cost that’s involved with it.  The cheaper that it gets, the more people have access to it, but I would say it’s probably the price.

Name: Kyle Wheaton, 3D Artist

We see all of these blockbuster action movies in 3D now, and here we have a 3D art show, what do you think the next big sensory innovation will be?

Oh, you mean like smell or touch? You know honestly I don’t know, I think sight and sound are probably the two, aside from smell, smell evokes so much memory and things like that but, as far as this type of medium goes I think sight and sound are the two biggest things and it’s hard to go much further beyond that.

With movies in 3D and video games like Xbox Kinect, which use a camera to actually project the human body into the game, are we close to a full-fledged virtual reality? How close?

Obviously pretty close, I mean there are so many things you can do, like you were saying with the Xbox Kinect, but aside from being able to control something from across the room, I mean I think that that’s pretty far away.  I think it’s just mainly an interaction, yourself and some sort of flat image or something of that sense right now.  To be able to interact with other tangible items, I think that’s pretty far away.

Why do you think it has taken so long for 3D technology to enter our homes?

I think, well, it’s uncomfortable, you know, wearing glasses, and obviously still with the current 3D televisions you have to wear the glasses.  It’s not natural, you know, as it is just to be able to sit and talk with somebody or anything like that.  I don’t know that even now, that this 3D technology with televisions, film obviously it’s going to continue to go, that’s been going on since you know the 50’s in this fashion, but with the television technology, I don’t know that that’s going to be the big boom.  It’s not a comfortable way to be able to sit and enjoy it.  I think (we need to) find a way where you don’t have to wear anything, like glasses or anything like that.

Name: Dustin, 3D screen printer

We see all of these blockbuster action movies in 3D now, and here we have a 3D art show, what do you think the next big sensory innovation will be?

I worked at Sea World for five years and they did a lot with sound and pressure.  The bees would come at you and you actually feel the pressure on your face, and the buzz.  So maybe that’s next.

Why do you think it has taken so long for 3D technology to enter our homes?

Maybe the technology didn’t exist affordably until now, if it even is affordable now.  I say put the TV away, pick up the guitar, maybe pick up some drum sticks, throw away your television.

—brett perla