Flight Simulators: How Humans can no Longer Tell the Difference Between Reality & Illusion

That was the title of my session at Barcamp Bangalore 9. It was more of a presentation actually, since I was talking about a topic that not many people know about (at least not in what was going to be my target audience that day). In fact, that was the idea behind the whole thing: to raise awareness about how advanced & mature simulation technology is today, where it is going, and where lie the obstacles and opportunities. I also included a bit of philosophy and some high-res photos. Here’s the synopsis of my session:

Since you are in some way associated with technology, you are probably aware that technology is/can be used to train humans for dangerous, skilled and expensive-to-repeat tasks, such as Driving, Surgeries, Operating specialized equipment, and well, flying.

– Did you know that there is something known as a “Zero Flight Time” Simulator, which is so realistic, that every hour that a potential pilot spends in it, is considered equivalent to flying an actual aircraft? And that pilots go flying on an real, revenue-generating trip for the very first flight in that type of aircraft without having ever set foot in it before?
– That there are only a handful of companies in the world that have the technological capability to create the accurate reproduction of reality (sight, sound, motion & vibration) that makes this possible?
– That Simulation is probably the only field of Computer Science, that makes use of just about everything that Computer Science is made up of, from Algorithms to 3D Graphics, from Embedded to Web, from Usability to Networking?

This discussion is going to be about Simulation (mostly Flight Simulation) and some of the amazing technology that lies behind it. How the Simulation, Gaming & Movie industries are feeding each other, and feeding off each other. And finally, Simulationism: the possibility that you and I are complex objects living inside a Computer Simulation.


Here’s a stripped-down, text-only PDF version (77 KB) of all the PPT-fu that I did (Sorry about the crazy contrasts, they make more sense with the pictures behind them). Do leave a comment letting me know your thoughts.

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One Response to “Flight Simulators: How Humans can no Longer Tell the Difference Between Reality & Illusion”

  1. Flight Simulators for the Serious Hobbyist | Survival of the Craziest Says:

    […] where Flight Simulators became so realistic that time spent flying in a simulator started being counted as actual flying hours. And new technologies such as Oculus Rift VR are only making the future more exciting. The best […]


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