We are using first person spherical video within a virtual realty headset, combined with haptic inputs, in order to create a body transfer illusion. This illusion has the effect of being able to allow a user to literally, step into someone else's shoes. The body transfer illusion is based on the Rubber Hand Experiment in which a rubber hand is placed in front of the subject and the subjects real hand is placed behind a blinder. The rubber hand and the subjects hand are then stroked in synchronicity with a small paint brush causing the subject's mind to accept the rubber hand as the body's real hand, creating the body transfer illusion. We are taking this phenomenon and scaling it up to include the entire body. When the subject is in the VR headset and they look down at their body, they see a new body. As they follow the movements of their new virtual body with their real body, they begin to take on characteristics of this new body. This is reinforced through the addition of haptic inpu...
We are using first person spherical video within a virtual realty headset, combined with haptic inputs, in order to create a body transfer illusion. This illusion has the effect of being able to allow a user to literally, step into someone else's shoes. The body transfer illusion is based on the Rubber Hand Experiment in which a rubber hand is placed in front of the subject and the subjects real hand is placed behind a blinder. The rubber hand and the subjects hand are then stroked in synchronicity with a small paint brush causing the subject's mind to accept the rubber hand as the body's real hand, creating the body transfer illusion. We are taking this phenomenon and scaling it up to include the entire body. When the subject is in the VR headset and they look down at their body, they see a new body. As they follow the movements of their new virtual body with their real body, they begin to take on characteristics of this new body. This is reinforced through the addition of haptic inputs. for example, when the virtual body reaches out and touches a table, there is a table in the real space that the subject is able to touch. We are also using sound design and sometimes smell in order to reinforce and maintain the illusion. What we have found, is that once the body transfer illusion is reached, the subject will then forgo their own body and understanding of the world and accept the embodied virtual reality as real. This is then used for movement training as well as an empathy tool.
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John Henry Blatter
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John Henry Blatter CTO New Media Artist and Embodied Virtual Reality Researcher

Recommendations

I am delighted to write this most enthusiastic recommendation for John Blatter.

I am the former Professor and Chair of Internal Medicine at VCU and the Physician-Scientist in Residence at VCUarts. I met John about 3 years ago, when we initiated a research collaboration (to determine whether augmented reality (Embodiment) could enhance the empathy of 1st year medical students vis-a-vis the elderly.

John was always enthusiastic about exploring how Embodiment could be used to enhance medical education or the care of patients. He collaborated with several faculty at the School of Medicine, always bringing up new ideas and innovative approaches.

I would describe his work as on the cutting edge, original, and promising of significant impact. He was the ideal collaborator; always available and willing to test new ideas.

I can assure F6S that its investment in John will yield remarkable results. John's work is the wave of the future, and he is in the lead.

John Nestler, MD, MACP