Morton Heilig life and biography

Morton Heilig picture, image, poster

Morton Heilig biography

Date of birth : 1926-12-22
Date of death : 1997-05-14
Birthplace :
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-10-05
Credited as : cinematography, Sensorama Simulator,

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Following enquiries into cinematography, Heilig decided that the typical cinematic projection was insufficient for the sort of immersive experience he desired, and worked for many years conceptualizing various methods for 3D projection and sensory synthesis.

One of the his few inventions to be prototyped was the Sensorama Simulator (invented 1957), a device comparable in appearance to an arcade cabinet, which simulated riding a motorcycle. The user, seated, grasped a pair of handlebars and peered into a stereoscopic projection which encompassed the whole of her field of vision. Rudimentary atmospheric effects were achieved through the use of fans (for wind), odors (flowers, etc.) and stereophonic sound; the device also simulated the feel of the road by vibrating the handlebars. In 1960, he invented the Telesphere Mask, a device worn on the head synthesizing binocular vision and sound -- compare virtual reality goggles. These ideas were synthesized in a cinema setting with Experience Theater (1969), which would have allowed a whole roomful to take part in an immersive show. Unfortunately, his ideas proved economically unfeasible and failed to catch on, though he found some interest from Disney in their attempts at 3D cinema.


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