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Morton Heilig «Sensorama»
Morton Heilig, «Sensorama», 1962
Photography | © Morton Heilig


Categories: Virtual Reality

Keywords: Architecture | Cinema | Space

Relevant passages:

icon: authorClaudia Giannetti «Endo-Aesthetics»

Check as well:

E.A.T. – Experiments in Art and Technology «Pepsi Pavillon für die Expo '70»| Stan VanDerBeek «Movie-Drome»| Jeffrey Shaw «Movie Movie»

United States

 Morton Heilig

The syn-aesthetic, immersive machine developed by Heilig in 1962 widened the Expanded Cinema to a theater of total illusion, which Heilig called the «experience theater.» Built inside a booth, in which visitors could sit on a movable stool, Heilig imagined that, for the price of 25 cents, «Sensorama» would offer multi-sensorial impressions of a virtual, ten-minute-long motorcycle ride through New York City. Apart from seeing the film, the «Sensorama» user would simultaneously experience the corresponding vibrations, head movements, sounds, and rushes of wind. But Heilig was unable to commercialize his visionary prototype for a cinema of the future. In a later interview he stated: «The Sensorama may have been too revolutionary for its time.» He patented his invention as the «Experience Theater» with 3–D images in 1969, and in 1971 the «Sensorama Simulator» for creating the illusion of reality.