In 1897, H.G. Wells published “The Invisible Man”, a science fiction novel about a scientist who successfully invents a way to change a body’s “refractive index” in order to make it invisible. The book went on to inspire The Invisible Man to be a major character in movies, video games and comic books. Now, with the help of VR, the ability to become invisible is somewhat possible.

Swedish researchers are using virtual reality to study how effective the use of this technology can be in making people think that their body has disappeared. The study asked participants to put on a HMD and then look down at their body. When they looked down at their body they were either shown a mannequin’s body or shown nothing at all (e.g. invisible). In both scenarios, an object such as a paint brush or knife was run against their body. Researchers found that when the object hit their body when they couldn’t see it, it tricked their minds into believing that they were in fact invisible.

This same VR experiment also concluded that social anxiety was reduced when participants felt they were invisible in a setting where they felt threatened.

Augmented World Expo (AWE) is the world’s largest conference for professionals focused on making the world more interactive – featuring technologies such as Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Wearable Computing, Smart Glasses, Gesture and Sensors devices, and The Internet of Things. Now in our sixth year, AWE 2015 is our biggest event yet with over 3,000 tech professionals, 200 demos, 100+ AWE-inspiring talks and over 150 participating companies. Tickets are on sale now.

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