Overview Effect simulation gateway to holistic understanding

Written by Ray Idaszak on Tuesday, 23 June 2009. Posted in Overview Effect

Simulating the Overview Effect through advanced virtual environments offers a glimpse of an introduction towards expanding our awareness that we are part of a larger reality. Driven by the ever increasing capabilities of interactive media, immersive display technologies, computer-generated special effects, 3D graphics hardware, and various sensory apparatus, virtual simulated environments take us seamlessly from this reality to another alternate reality.

But from the perspective of our consciousness, what differentiates the simulated experience from the real experience? A hint is our lifetime of learned expectations. The Overview Effect is a new type reality…an event that as we experience it, we know to be real yet a seemingly surrealistic experience that goes profoundly beyond our lifetime of learned expectations. Simulating the Overview Effect is humankind’s runway to the actual experience enabling all of us – as collective stewards of planet earth – to understand more holistically not only our place in the created universe, but our role as well.

About the Author

Ray Idaszak is the Director of Visualization and Collaborative Environments at the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) - a multidisciplinary institute bridging academe, commerce and society to enrich and empower human potential.

At RENCI, Ray’s team has helped design and deploy over 20 distributed interconnected visualization and collaboration environments and now promotes the multi-institutional visualization projects to exploit these facilities. Prior to joining RENCI, for twelve years Ray was Chief Technology Officer, co-founder and served on the board of directors of Alternate Realities Corporation / Elumens where the products his team brought to market earned several industry awards.

He was the first technical staff member of the NCSA Visualization Group and later formed the initial MCNC Visualization Group where he also co-founded the International AVS Center. His work includes appearances in National Geographic, Time Magazine, NOVA and The Infinite Voyage PBS shows, Britannica's Science and Future, Scientific American, Discover, and has been featured eleven times as cover images for various journals and books. Ray holds a Computer Science Engineering degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and has ten patents.

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