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Virutal Presence

user virtual telepresence environment

Definition: Virtual presence is similar in concept to telepresence, in that it tries to give the impression to the user as if the user is present in one place or environment, even when one is physically not situated in that environment.

The difference between the two is that telepresence is a networked paradigm by nature, whereas virtual presence does not have to be networked and can run completely locally. For example, a virtual presence system can be used in a museum to recreate the Roman Coliseum, enabling the user to enter the Coliseum and to be virtually present in it. Such sites and/or locations can be created in conventional Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality. Such a system does not always require networking since there is not always a need for transmission of data between remote sites. Other than the networking requirement, virtual presence needs the other features of telepresence in order to achieve the sense of presence:

  • The extent of the sensory information: it is necessary to provide the user with the same level of sensory information that they would receive if they were actually present at the site.
  • Control of sensors: it must be possible to move the sensing devices around the environment as if the user was at the site.
  • The ability to modify the site and actively interact with it.
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