Toward Next-generation Virtual Environments

Event Sponsor: 
Mathematics and Computer Science Division
Start Date: 
Jul 10 2007 (All day)
Building 221, A-216
Argonne National Laboratory
John van Rosendale
Speaker(s) Title: 
College of William and Mary
Michael Papka

This talk will describe an autostereo virtual environment we call a TIP, an acronym for "Tele-Immersive Portal." The name refers to the fact that this environment should be especially well suited to teleimmersive applications and other forms of distance collaboration.

The TIP environment will improve on most current virtual environments by:
being autostereo - no 3D glasses
being multi-user
inducing less VR-sickness

Autostereo environments use special screens to direct light separately to each of the users' eyes, obviating the need for 3D glasses. Everything else being equal, autostereo environments are strictly superior - shutter glasses and other 3D glasses or head-mounted displays tend to be awkward, fragile, heavy, and cut off peripheral vision. While 3D glasses are awkward but acceptable in most application, for teleimmersive applications autostereo seems all but essential since 3D glasses eliminate eye contact - a critical factor in interpersonal communication.
This talk will also discuss VR-sickness. VR-environments disrupt the oculomotor system with an effect similar to drunkenness. The resulting headaches and nausea are near universal with VR-environments, and the effects can persist up to 24 hours raising serious liability concerns. VR-sickness is most severe for head-mounted displays (HMDs) and head-mounted projective displays (HMPDs), since latency in tracking and rendering causes the entire scene to shift as the user turns their head. Caves are more benign in this regard, since distant object and the horizon remain fixed during head rotation. Using a new rendering scheme, the TIP environment inherits this more benign Cave-like behavior, giving it a real advantage over competing HMD and HMPD environments.

Miscellaneous Information: