Existing conceptualizations of Presence

Even though it was not labelled as such in a wide variety of scientific domains, presence research has been conducted over the last few centuries: in Philosophy, in Architecture, in Psychology, in scientific technology development, in Communications and Media Studies. The distinction between being present in the here and now, and being present elsewhere, by voice or by imagination (when reading a book for example), has been a topic of scientific interest for many years.
The current large scale spread of digital and distributed technologies has positioned the design of presence centre stage. With the ever developing technology, spreading Internet, evolving game culture, augmented reality, wearables, smart textiles, avatars and more, new presence designs and configurations are continually influencing the possible stances of presence. The five key notions that have and still guide presence design during the last two decades are: (1) being there, (2) being here, (3) merging realities, (4) presence as the strive towards well-being and survival, and (5) co-presence, social presence and witnessed presence. These notions and their historical context are discussed below in more detail.