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									Virtual Reality
Immersive Environments
                     -Gopi Prashanth
                   The Wire

•   What is an immersive environment?
•   Types of immersive environments.
•   VR in real world
•   Feedback mechanisms
•   Human Factors
•   VR advantages
             What is an immersive
• One that immerses the user inside of it.
• Image/Projection does not have a
• Uses complete peripheral vision.
  • Peripheral vision is more sensitive than direct
• FOV ~ 180 degrees.
  • Gives a sense of being part of the scene.
Types of Immersive
                HMD - Features

• Portable viewing screens that add depth
  perception to otherwise flat images.
• Two lenses through which you look at a
  viewing screens.
• Two slightly different images are projected on
  the screen: one presenting the object as it
  would be seen the right eye, the other left.
• These two stereo images are then fused by
  the brain into one 3D image.
               HMD - Tracking
• A tracking device mounted on the helmet
  records the head movements relative to a
  stationary location.
• As the user moves her/his head the
  simulation collects data from the tracker
  and updates the user’s perspective of the
           HMD - Interfaces

    Wand            Data Glove

Tracking device on the interface.
       HMD – Advantages (or Not)
• Block out surrounding environment
  – Users completely absorbed in the
• Same reason for their popularity with
  Video Games – Complete Immersion.
• The common HMD weigh a few pounds
  hence they are a “pain in the neck”
             BOOM™ - Features
• Binocular Omni Orientation Monitor
• Similar to HMD but no helmet.
• The BOOM's eyeglasses provide the
  interface to the virtual world.
• Except the fact that the image is virtual the
  perspective can be changed by actually
  moving around the image itself – along
  with the eyeglasses.
            BOOM™ - Interface
• The buttons on the handle of eyeglasses
  provide an interface.
• Other interfaces like a data glove can be
  hooked up to provide similar/advanced
           BOOM™ - Advantages
• Small in size
• No heavy HMD type helmets
• Interface is similar to real world interface
  hence easier to handle.
                CAVE - Features
• "In the CAVE, you are no longer on the
  outside looking in but on the inside looking
  out." - Thomas DeFanti, co-developer of the CAVE
• CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment
• > 180 degrees FOV
• Usually 4 walls
  – Rear projection display
  – Each wall rendered at 60 FPS.
• Two images per frame.
  – One per eye.
Stereoscopic Glasses
        • Shutters close and
          open alternately
        • 30 times a second.
        • Tracking device
          attached to the
                CAVE™ - Interface
• Wand™
• Joystick
• Keyboard, IR devices, Audio Commands, Motion
  sensors, Onscreen menus, light saber?
  – No restrictions
• Palm m500 as an input to the CAVE.
  – Ref: Gopi Prashanth, et al, "Text Entry via Palm in an
    Virtual Environment'” Proc. Human Factors and
    Ergonomic Society, 47th Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.
             CAVE™ - Advantages
• Unencumbered movement
  – No clunky helmets or viewing boxes.
  – The only required gear are a funky pair of
    glasses and a wand.
• Large FOV
  – In an simulated environment the objects are
    not simulated just in front of you, but left, right,
    behind and above and through you.
          Immersadesk - features
• ImmersaDesks, will serve as streamlined
  versions of the CAVE bringing 3D,
  immersible technology into the office.
• Portable yet large enough to cause
  immersion to a close enough user.
• Same Stereoscopic glasses can be used.
• Development is swappable with that of the
• Similar to the CAVE
• No image stitching
• One seamless screen in the form of a
• The CORE movie
 What people are doing with VR
• In science
  – Virtual environments are helping researchers
    decipher the knowledge buried within the
    mountains of data that are piling up hourly,
    streaming out of space and earth-based
  – Scientists separated by a continent will be
    able to simultaneously share perspective on
    the data.
 What people are doing with VR
• In medicine
  – Cancer can be treated more safely.
    • Study of body structure to find the most effective
      path for radiation therapy to minimize effect on
      healthy tissue.
  – Data gloves
    • Virtual surgery – distance of subject is not a
    • Feel body tissue using volumetric data collected
      using CT scans.
 What people are doing with VR
• In industry
  – Used as a visualization medium
     • To further understand the structure of chemicals.
     • Design better automobiles
     • Sharing and brainstorming ideas
  – Army
     • Virtual warfare training
 What people are doing with VR
• In education/research
  – Digital bookshelves
    • Walk through libraries
  – Learn anatomy on a simulated cadaver
  – Do trading in a virtual stock market
  – Virtual laboratories
    • chemistry and biology
  – Design 3D models in virtual space
   Feedback mechanisms in VEs
• Visual
  – The scene being rendered onto the users visual
• Auditory
  – Audio feedback
     • Directional Sound
• Motion
  – Vibration of joystick
  – Movement of gyroscope
  – Steering Wheel
   Feedback mechanisms in VEs
• Olfactory
  – Theatre in Russia and the movie experiment.
• Touch
  – Small electrical impulses to the skin.
  – Air flow for speed.
• Pressure
  – Body suit
     • Surrounding pressure under water.
• Balance
  – Ear fluids
  – Tilting platforms
Human Factors in Virtual Environments

  Ref: Human Factors Issues in Virtual Environments: Kay, Ronald and Robert.
                Advantages of VR
• Scale
   – Usually the scale of objects that are being viewed is closer to
      the real objects.
• 3D to 3D
   – Projecting a 3D object onto a 3D medium reveals more
• Interactions
   – Real world type interactions make the environment more
      natural for the user.
• Augmented reality
   – Additional information about the subject augments the
      projection of the subject
• Shared Virtual Environments
   – Surgery
   – Architectural Walkthrough
                   VR in games
• Doom 3D in CAVE™ - Cool!!
• More natural means of interaction
  – Laser Guns
  – Light Saber
• Better immersion in the environment
  – More input from various other feedback mechanisms
     • 3D sound
     • Wind/Pressure suits
• Simulators – Gyroscope
  – Flight
  – Ship
  – Tank
• “Human Factors in Virtual Environments”
   – Professor Kay Stanney - University of Central Florida
• "Text Entry via Palm in an Virtual Environment'"
   – Gopi Prashanth, et al, Proc. Human Factors and Ergonomic
     Society, 47th Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado.

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