The goal of three-dimensional and virtual reality projects is to create a more immersive environment for the user, but what about 4D? The first three dimensions are easy to define; length, width, and height. As a child, I was taught that the fourth dimension was time, and time could theoretically be manipulated like the other dimensions. If one could observe our 4D world from a higher dimension, one could see an object at all possible times. This is not actually an accurate description; however, as 4D space is more like looking at all possible variations of a three-dimensional object all smashed together.
Today, in popular culture, 4D is a term that promises a more immersive experience than 3D. In a 3D movie, a 2D image is translated so that the image on screen seems to have volume; the audience perceives objects and sometimes people flying at them. By comparison, a 4D movie would engage your senses of touch, possibly smell, and one day perhaps even taste. Imagine going to a movie theater and wearing haptic gloves with potentially additional haptic components. The user would have the experience of being able to touch things in the movie. The possibilities for a variety of industries, not just entertainment, are truly endless