Meeting People Virtually: Experiments in Shared Virtual Environments

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The BBC TV series Dr Who popularized the race of beings known as the "Daleks" [l]. A Dalek is a creature that is completely encased in a metallic shell, through which it can slide over the ground only over certain types of flat, smooth and electrically conducting surfaces. It has three limbs, one used as an eye-piece delivering a relatively small field of view, another which is a weapon, and a third which acts as an end-effector for the manipulation of objects. There is no direct evidence about Daleks’ auditory capabilities. However, this is unlikely to be good, since Daleks have a habit of repeating most things they say several times. Daleks tend to shout rather than talk, another indication of poor auditory capability and a lossy information channel. This evolutionary development was the result of a warinduced nuclear holocaust, thousands of years in the past.