Post source: Applications in Biology for a New Generation

Are we moving toward a “Brave New World”? Theatrics has always been an art form just like photography. And although computers have enhanced both forms of art we have to be careful not to replace the human talent with computerized simulations. This article talks about plays with odors as part of the performance and how this idea was dismissed because it was a distraction. Well with the food network would it be such a distraction – Emeril always says “we need smellivison”. Although is sound really cool it would most likely not be marketable and the market drives the technology.

“Tina and Tony’s Wedding” was an interactive play. Are we still doing this? – yes. Murder mystery’s are quite popular because people like to interact with the art form. This is further illustrated in computer simulations. We have come a long way since “Duke Nukem”. We can laugh at the graphics we started with and can be amazed at the graphics we now have on our phones. Interactive games have evolved with the technology but not necessarily for the better. “Myst” actually required you to use your mind to solve puzzles to reach a goal. Today’s “World of Warcraft” takes little skill and less intellect. You are doing menial tasks. Yes it is a form of social networking – but 10-14 hours a day – get real.

A different form of interaction is seen with the “Wii”. Here you actually move as if you are actually performing. It has been interesting to see all of the people who have flocked to this technology. I would be more interested in virtual reality games – with true “virtual reality” technology. I want the complete host of sensations not just the movement and its effect on a 2-D television screen. 3-D is much more exciting. On a more practical note in graduate school we would section organs (0.005 mm thick) and look at them under a microscope. We would photograph the tissues. And we could compare the tissues and see a pattern across the organ. We thought it would be perfect in we could digitize these images and reconstruct the organ on a computer screen with 3-D qualities. We were about 15 years ahead of the technology. Today we can do just that. If only we could have been the one’s to initiate it.

Finally I look at film and where we are today because of this technology. In 1963 Alfred Hitchcock made “The Birds” and everyone was so impressed. Today we look at that movie and laugh and the quality of the images. In the 21st century we digitally enhance our films on a regular basis. We have created images that are astronomical. In 1977 George Lucas made “Star Wars” which was a very cool visualization but in addition it was the beginning of what would become THX the next generation of surround sound. Theaters used to be very large. Today we make them small and close to the screen to bring the viewer in. The sound is now Dolby and surrounds us completely. People even have surround sound in their homes. It is a totally different experience. Where Hitchcock spent his efforts to build the suspense today we concentrate on the technology that will woo the audience.