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Oculus Rift used for gender swap experience (NSFW)

4:00 PM on 01.22.2014 // Darren Nakamura
  @Dexter345

Trick your brain into thinking it is in a different body

The Oculus Rift is impressive technology, and it has sparked interest in virtual reality at levels not seen since the 1990s. Still, despite the improved latency in head tracking and the improved field of view, one thing that is still holding virtual reality back from truly transporting a mind to another place is proprioception, or the ability to sense the position, orientation, and movement of one's own body parts.

The team behind The Machine to Be Another tackles that in a clever way. By giving two subjects each a modified Oculus Rift headset that captures video, then sending those video signals to the other headset's screen, the illusion is set up. By instructing the subjects to use slow, methodical movements and "agree" with one another on the positioning of their bodies, the illusion is completed and the brain believes more strongly that it has been transported to another body.

The video above pairs one male with one female at a time, allowing each to briefly feel as if he or she were gender swapped. It is a really interesting display, though it might have been made more interesting if the video included post-experience interviews with the subjects describing how it felt.

[Editor's note: the video below contains non-pornographic nudity. NSFW]


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Darren Nakamura, Associate Editor
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Darren is a scientist and an educator by day, and a writer and reviewer by night. While he enjoys shooters, RPGs, platformers, strategy, and rhythm games, he takes particular interest in indepen... more   |   staff directory

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