Real and virtual objects

19 Jun

It was the mixed reality that clarified what real and virtual objects are, the very authors Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino who have placed lights not only on the taxonomy of virtual and immersive environments, but mainly on the question of the real and the virtual.
They addressed the distinction between real and virtual in three aspects, which can be seen in the figure that is a modified version of Figure 2 of Milgram and Fumio.
The first aspect is the difference between real and virtual objects, which are to the left of the figure, real objects have real objective existence, while virtual exist in essence or effect, but not formally, but it is from them that the in-formation , which they are in essence.
For a real object to be visualized, it can be directly observed or can be sampled (before imagined Shannon) and resynthesized by some artifact.
The second distinction is drawn by the authors of a Naimark paper, which is the question of the quality of the images reflected in an aspect called reflected reality, great efforts were made for this which is the direct visualization in air or glass of a real object, or the so-called “unmediated reality,” now made a reality at Brigham Young University.
The authors’ point of view, and also ours, is that it is not only because the image “looks real” it may be representing the real and its formation, and therefore the terminology used must be careful in explaining this difference.
Clarification of “representation,” the third distinction is between real and virtual images, for this we return to the field of optics and “operationally define a real image as any image that has some luminosity in the place where it appears to be located”, this includes and the image projected on the artifact (the authors say on the screen, but the concept can be extended).
Thus the virtual image can be defined as the inverse mode of the image that does not have luminosity in the place where it appears, and, therefore, this can include examples of holograms and mirror images as suggested by the author, however, escapes the fact that human vision itself mirrors and inverts the images, so what is real if we need the eyes?
Also the question of luminosity is interesting, the shadows and the projections that can be thought from the cave paintings to the myth of the cave of Plato, there already was the virtual one.

Naimark, M. Elements of realspace imaging. Apple Multimedia Lab Technical Report, 1991


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