Shared Virtual Environment
The shared virtual reality application VRAPP provides the central framework for our telecollaboration infrastructure. The software operates over the Center's T1-based communications link, communicating video, audio, and state between sites. Using VRAPP, remote participants can join together in a virtual conference room within which they can see and interact with multiple merged representations of a design in the shared space, together with other participants represented by avatars. The ultimate goal of VRAPP is to provide a shared environment to support multidisciplinary collaborative design.
The avatar motion in the virtual conference room follows each participant's location and orientation, which is controlled by the participant via a mouse or a tracked display device such as a HMD. In addition, when possible we superimpose live video of participants on their avatars.
VRAPP can be used in a variety of environments from non-immersive (desktop) to semi-immersive (Active Desk, a table-size stereo display with head tracking), to fully immersive (BOOM and HMD). This approach lets VRAPP take advantage of each type of environment without impacting the others.
[CONN97b]D. Brookshire Conner and Loring S. Holden, "Providing a Low-Latency User Experience in a High-Latency Application," Proceedings of 1997 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics (Providence, Rhode Island, April 27-30, 1997), pp. 45-48
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