The Meaning of Presence in VR


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Presence is the illusion of hearing, touching, tasting, feeling, and seeing something in virtual reality that tricks your lizard brain into believes it is real.

Presence is VR magic.

It’s why you duck when a virtual pterodactyl is flying towards you or why your stomach drops when you fall off of a virtual cliff.

And while neither of these examples are happening in the real world, your brain is essentially not evolved enough to know the difference, and thus acts according to its instinct.

2016 is widely considered the tipping point for VR, and it’s because of the strength of the illusion, or Presence, created by current VR technology.

Screen resolution has never been higher. Thanks to Moore’s law computer chips can now process high fidelity graphics, quickly. Haptic technology provides near life-like feedback. Devices are portable enough for mass manufacturing. And eventually we’ll be able to smell and taste the things we interact with in VR.

When you combine all of these elements you get presence which enables a viable virtual version of the world to exist.