Posture Platform and The Drawing Room: Virtual Teleportation in Cyberspace






  • Three-hundred-sixty-degree audio/visual immersion and the restoration of non-verbal communication cues are essential features for interfaces inviting the human body in cyberspace. The Posture Platform is a network of bases that offers access to a shared virtual environment. Each base is composed of an immersive 360-degree visual display, a surround-sound system, an array of image capture devices, a microphone, an omnidirectional controller/pointer, and a computer with wifi and an internet connection. The Drawing Room is the most recent virtual space developed for the platform. It invites participants to a blank shared space where they draw their own environment collaboratively. The platform, and the project it hosts, is an example of the art, design, and engineering challenges and opportunities associated with development of inhabitable cyberspace.


  • 1. De Saussure’s instructions to Bourrit in 1776: “I instructed the draftsman to start by tracing a large circle on paper which he would call the horizontal circle; he would then place on this circle all the visible points that are at eye level; he will finally draw outside of this circle everything he sees above the horizon and within, everything he sees below. I wanted each object above and below the horizontal circle to be positioned at a distance proportional to the corresponding angle of elevation or depression.” De Saussure, Horace-Bénédict, Voyages dans les Alpes (Neuchatel: Samuel Fauche, 1779), 496.

    2. Seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophers (Leibniz, Hume, De Condillac, Rousseau, Goethe) introduced modern ideas on systems, sensualism, education, citizenship, participative governance, and democracy. Doing so, they invented the “sensitive subject,” whose perception of reality went beyond the mere observation of natural phenomena to account for human feelings. Their insights filtered and brewed through generations until today’s immersive, interactive, and networked technologies, participatory cultures, and social media.

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    5. Barthes, Roland, and Frédéric Berthet, “Présentation,” in Communications no. 30 (Paris: École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales/Seuil, 1979), 141. The importance of gaze in shared virtual environments is also well described by Jeremy N. Bailenson et al. in “Gaze and Task Performance in Shared Virtual Environments,” Journal of Visual Computer Animation Vol. 13, No. 5, 313–320 (2002).

    6. The SPIN Framework, SCENIC, and Posture Vision are developed in open source at the Metalab, the research department of Montréal’s Society for Arts and Technology (SAT), <>.

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    9. Although less visually immersive than the hemispherical screens typically used, the panoramic display created with six large LCD monitors for the Montréal-Liverpool connection worked in creating a context for interaction and collaboration.

    10. Asset management over the network is essential to the unified experience of the Posture Platform and its materialization in The Drawing Room. To make for a shared real-time experience, every change each participant makes in the virtual environment, including movements and creation of lines or cubes, and the sounds associated with voices or objects, must be instantly distributed to others in real time. All local or remote changes and alterations are thus managed online by the SPIN server.

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