#485: Mary Whitton on Fundamental Research on VR Locomotion and Presence

Mary_WhittonDr. Mary Whitton has been working with interactive computer graphics since 1978 and virtual reality since 1994 in collaboration with Dr. Fred Brooks at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I had a chance to talk with Mary back in 2015 at the IEEE VR in France about her fundamental research into VR locomotion, haptics, and cultivating a sense of presence.

There have been a lot of military grants over the years to research the impact of haptics, spatialized audio, latency, and field of view into cultivating presence within VR. She’s also investigated a number of different issues around walking-in-place locomotion techniques, passive haptics & redirected touch, as well the nuances of Mel Slater’s presence theory with the place illusion and plausibility illusion.


In 2015, the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee (VGTC) awarded a technical achievement award to Oculus’ Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov, and Palmer Luckey. At the end of this interview, Mary Whitton made a call out to the role that Mark Bolas and USC ICT may have played within the creation of the Oculus Rift.

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Music: Fatality & Summer Trip