In 2008, Casper Schipper and Bastiaan Terhorst experimented with an installation that would simulate the senses of other animals. By mounting a webcam on the back of a tablet PC, a see-through window was created that would show the world as it appeared to a selection of animals. Users could select the animal presets by changing the value of three sliders. These sliders corresponded to habitat altitude, agility and body size. An interesting aspect of this installation was that it allowed users to choose values between the preset animals. For instance, an animal the size of an elephant, as fast as a shark, living high in the sky. Of course, these values did not correspond to any living animal, but they yielded interesting results nonetheless.
Communicating Science to a Larger Audience
When starting their graduation project, Casper and Bastiaan chose to revisit the Perceptor project. Initially, they wanted to create an improved version of the existing installation. However, the realization that a project involving sensory simulation is inevitably an exercise in deception led them to pursue their topic in another medium. Instead of an interactive simulation, they decided to write an accessible, illustrated book for younger audiences. An important reason to create the Perceptor in the first place was to educate people on the fact that perception is relative. At the time, Casper and Bastiaan felt a book would be the best way to communicate this.
The book discusses perception from three perspectives: biological, philosophical and phychological. Scientific theories are explained in simple terms, placing the emphasis not on the theories themselves, but on how they add to our understanding of perception.
Upon its release in April 2011, the iPad version of "‘Ik zie ik zie wat jij niet ziet" immediately reached position 4 on Apple's list of "best free iPad apps". Download it from http://www.iphoneclub.nl/app/426524567.