Now, swap your body with a person, or a dog

'User' and 'performer' don virtual reality headsets; inventors hope this will help people shed bias

London: Believe it or not, living the life of your favourite star or even your pet dog is now a possibility, at least virtually, as a group of artists have developed a project to experiment with body swapping.

“The first few seconds are just overwhelming,” Rikke Frances Wahl, a woman participant who temporarily became a man, was quoted as saying.

Body swaping virtually
Representation Pic/thinkstock

The artists hope that the project would help people shed many inhibitions and do away with bias against people of a different ethnicity or race, said a news report.

For swapping bodies, the user and the performer (as the two volunteers are called) don virtual reality headsets with cameras placed on top.

“We use camera mapping of the user’s space, and digital compasses to track the user’s head and body direction,” described the webpage of the project. “As for the performer, we use a subjective camera controlled by servomotors, which is synchronised with the head position.”

So if you move your arm, your partner sees it and vice-versa. Studies have shown that virtual reality can be effective in fighting implicit racism — the inherent bias that humans have against those who do not look or sound like them.

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