michael naimark
VR Webcam Study

"Virtual Reality" and "webcams" are currently incompatible suppositions, placing sensory richness in opposition to liveness. Large immersive images, sent through a "narrow pipe" such as today's Internet, must "accumulate" over time. Time artifacts result, since not everything can be transmitted at the same time.

Such time artifacts were explored using visual material from a previous art installation, Be Now Here, filmed with a custom-built camera system, where such factors as frame rate, lens angles, and panning speed were known. Though the footage was pre-recorded, it approximated what a live "VR webcam" could be.

Scenes of the same places at different times of day were combined in various ways to simulate "narrow pipe" time artifacts. Studies produced from this footage suggest that time artifacts, while reducing the verisimilitude of the imagery, can increase its density or activity. In such "hyper-real" images, "more" can "happen." A "VR Webcam" is proposed.

The complete study, with images and videos, can be found at:

VR Webcams: Time Artifacts as Positive Features

Related Projects:

Folding-Time, Video Panorama Burning Man 2002

David Rokeby, Machine for Taking Time, 2001

Romy Achituv, Interactive Be Now Here, 2000