OAKLAND, CA—Noting how the expressive movement of her friend’s arms fully conveyed every aspect and nuance of the event, 27-year-old Andrea Jennings confirmed Monday that her friend Rachel Carter’s hand gestures had transformed an anecdote about meeting up for lunch with a mutual acquaintance into a fully immersive virtual reality experience. “From the second Rachel started moving her hands back and forth to indicate that she was talking to Julia, it was like I had put on a sophisticated VR headset and entered an incredibly realistic computer simulation of her story,” said Jennings, who marveled at the way Carter’s slightly raised shoulders and upturned palms had effectively allowed her to step into a three-dimensional digital rendering of the scene, where she could watch the narrative about Carter’s uncertainty over which panini to order play out in full detail. “Everything just seemed so real. At some point, I became so fully engrossed that I forgot I was even sitting in my living room. It was just like I was right there with Rachel, having the entire experience of struggling to find a parking spot near the restaurant projected directly into my eyes solely through the position and movement of her hands.” Following the conclusion of the gesture-enhanced story, Jennings added that her bland day-to-day life now felt less real by comparison.
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