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Virtual reality may be cutting-edge technology, but the desire for people to feel as if they’re immersed a picture isn’t new. The concept was first explored in the late 18th century with the invention of the pictorial panorama, patented by Robert Barker in 1787.

Later, in the 1960s, 360-degree film techniques like Circarama and Totalrama were among the first modern technologies to embrace the idea of immersive footage. Both were financed by Fiat, one of the most prominent Italian automobile manufacturers. The Circarama provided a panoramic view by splitting the image on multiple screens, whereas Totalrama recorded and projected a scenic panoramic flow of images without interrupting the field of vision.

In this talk, Silvia Mascia will explore these two ground-breaking film techniques from the '60s, as well as examining the desire for immersion that drove their invention and ultimately led to today’s virtual platforms. By studying such experiences from the past, we can build a solid reference point from which to develop future technologies.

Date and time for this talk at IVRPA Belfast 2019 is TBD.

Presented by

Silvia Mascia

Silvia Mascia



After studying Economics and Management of Cultural Heritage at the Ca'Foscari University of Venice, she obtained her master's degree at the DAMS of the University of Udine. Her research focus is of panoramic cinema between industry and spectacle, and she investigates how moving images can create an immersive experience. Also, she is a recipient of…


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