Original Terry Pope - Phantascope Hyperscope X3 complete with hard case, neck strap, case keys. Instructions online.
Phantascope: `A contrivance for exhibiting phenomena of binocular vision' O.E.D.
The Phantascopes are designed for research into the eye-brain system, either on an individual level, as part of an inter-active science context, or integrated into an educational program. As a result of the significant changes to space perception they make possible, there are many activities which may be enhanced by their use - these are a few suggestions. We would be very interested to hear of your experiences for additions to this list. In general terms there are two kinds of application. The device can be used for a practical purpose, e.g. judging a yacht race, in order to distinguish which vessel is in front of when rounding a buoy, simply watching the theartre, a display of fireworks or observing a flock of birds transforming itself.
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Switched On Stereo
The Hyperscope quite powerfully revises our image of the space we inhabit, and its SDR (Stereo Detection Rate) of 3.58 reveals the structure and form of our surroundings, which were either hard to see or invisible. Not only does the SDR of 3.58 allow the user to be conscious of inherent properties of vision but also some intriguing qualities, making them as valuable for schools of fine art, as for perception studies in a department of psychology.
Inter-Active Science Centre
The Hyperscopes, either in hand-held or pillar mounted form, may be used to enhance targets in an instructional way, such as crystallographic models, mathematical figures or complex machinery. Besides this they can provide an intriguing and entertaining look at other people to the centre. The effects of looking at people are many: there is an apparent change in eye-level, noses are elongated like Cyrano de Bergerac's or Pinocchio's, spectacles seem to float in front of faces, and the angles of all surfaces are dramatised, not unlike a Lipchitz sculpture or some Cubist paintings. The Hyperscope is not only a fascinating exhibit in its own right, but may also be used to substantially enhance other exhibits.
Gallery/Exhibition Use part of integrated viewing of exhibits
Exhibitions of either science or art subjects are usually of special things to see, and if these objects are three dimensional, they will be transformed in intriquing ways by a Hyperscope. A complex crystallographic model will be more easily comprehensible, and works of art such as sculpture, constructions and installations will be spatially richer experiences. Readings of art work through the Hyperscope while stereoscopically exciting and revealing are aesthetically/conceptually passive. It does not distort or suppress the artists intentions.
Many people are familiar with the Magic Eye stereograms which have become popular. To see these apparently random texture screens in full three dimensional relief, requires the viewer to separate their vergence from their accommodation, so that one set of information is seen by one eye and the other by the other eye. Fusion of these two discrepant images creates the stereo image. Some find this is easy to achieve, but it eludes others who can, nevertheless be helped to achieve fusion with the Hyperscope. Attach the stereogram to a wall at eye-level. Stand about 3 feet (1m) away and look at it through the hyperscope. You will probably be aware that you are seeing double so adjust your distance from the wall, backwards or forwards until the two images fuse into one. Minimal experimentation should make it possible for you to see the full stereo image. Understanding how this works will help to achieve fusion without the use of the Hyperscope.
Convenient access to visual phenomena for psychology students
In a school of psychology the Hyperscope is a convenient hand-held Telestereoscope and a useful demonstrator of a number of phenomena associated with enhanced stereo vision. It can be picked up and put down as easily as a pair of reading spectacles, and the effects are not only unmistakable, but measurable.
As a powerful teaching aid for art students
In a Fine Art school where space is used expressively in three-dimensional work, the powerfully increased tangibility available by means of a Hyperscope, is an obvious teaching advantage. In sculpture, the relationships between objective and non-objective space are sometimes difficult to point out to students, but with the Hyperscope they will be able to see it for themselves.
In an art school however, the contribution of the Hyperscope goes beyond specific three dimensional experience. All students who are becoming aware of the role their senses play in their artistic identities, particularly their visual system, will appreciate the rich and stimulating input of a Hyperscope. It will also go some way towards bringing out into the open, the ways artists make their work. Understanding which way our own attention functions, is important in discovering and refining ways of directing the attention of spectators at what we may consider dramatic, significant or beautiful.
The following examples illustrate the powerful practical applications Hyperscopes and so help to convey their potential.
Mathematics. Regular Polytopes and Speculative Geometry Part 1
Many mathematical models are complex, and it is sometimes difficult to appreciate fully their structure. This is particularly so with figures such as Hypercubes or Tesseracts which are three dimensional drawings/analogues of four dimensional mathematical concepts, and incorporate four mutually perpendicular right-angles. Most observers agree that such objects as these when seen through a Hyperscope, are substantially clarified, not only in their structure, but also in the space they occupy almost as if they have a soap bubble film stretched over them. What is important is that this image of the mathematical figure is stable, and can be viewed without fatigue for any length of time. See the Pseudoscope section for more about the unusual perceptions of these figures.
Motion Sickness: Strong Orientation through a Hyperscope
Because the image of space through the Hyperscope is powerfully stereoscopic, looking through a Hyperscope is highly orientating. For that reason it can have a stabilising effect in conditions which produce motion sickness. Conditions which create motion sickness may be as different as car travel or weightlessness for Space Shuttle crews, whose assignments require different axes, and for whom the notion of what is down can be a problem, partly because we assume that the direction in which our feet are pointing is down.
Advantages of Hyperscopic vision for Shuttle Crews
Shuttle crews are frequently called upon to operate remote manipulators during spacewalks in orbit. Some of these tasks require spatial judgements at distances near the effective limit of stereo vision, which is about 100ms. In addition, lacking the usual atmospheric cues of recession in a space environment, misjudgements of location have been made, and expensive equipment has been lost, setting back important research programs.
Night Vision Enhancement of Object Definition
In low-light conditions, because of its enhanced stereo detection rate, the Hyperscope gives a superior signal/noise ratio between foreground and background.
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