Jeffrey Jacobson, PhD, virtual reality consultant, hands me the Oculus Rift headset, something that resembles a black boxy pair of ski goggles. Slipping it over my head, he tightens the straps. A demo is already playing and I’m looking at a virtual desk, complete with a lamp, potted plant, papers, and even a house of cards.
My first instinct is to reach out and touch these phantom objects in front of me, knowing full well they don’t actually exist. “Everyone does that the first time they try on the Rift,” Jacobson chuckles. As I look around the “room,” the Rift follows my movements seamlessly. I gasp as I look down and see my legs have been replaced with a bright red desk chair. The effect is disorienting.
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