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Virtual Reality. Benjamin Lok EGN 1935 Lecture 11/14/2006. Outline. What is (and isn’t) VR? Why do VR? Impact on Society Lessons Learned (Hype machine) So you want to get involved?. What is VR?. Is it This?. Virtual Reality Definition. What is virtual reality? Virtual –

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virtual reality

Virtual Reality

Benjamin Lok

EGN 1935 Lecture


  • What is (and isn’t) VR?
  • Why do VR?
  • Impact on Society
  • Lessons Learned (Hype machine)
  • So you want to get involved?
what is vr
What is VR?
  • Is it This?
virtual reality definition
Virtual Reality Definition
  • What is virtual reality?
    • Virtual –
      • being in essence or effect, but not in fact
    • Reality –
      • State or quality of being real
      • Something that exists independently of ideas concerning it
    • What was the first VR?
  • Story telling
    • What did this rely on?
      • User’s imagination!
  • Multi-sensory
    • Images
    • Sounds
  • Control
    • Events
    • View
  • What do these things have in common?
    • Immersion
ivan sutherland s the ultimate display
Ivan Sutherland’s The Ultimate Display

“Don’t think of that thing as a screen, think of it as a window, a window through which one looks into a virtual world. The challenge to computer graphics is to make that virtual world look real, sound real, move and respond to interaction in real time, and even feel real.”

key elements of virtual reality experience
Key Elements of Virtual Reality Experience
  • Virtual World - content of a given medium
    • screen play, script, etc.
    • actors performing the play allows us to experience the virtual world
  • Immersion – sensation of being in an environment
    • mental immersion – suspension of disbelief
    • physical immersion – bodily entering the medium
    • Related to presence – (mentally immersed) the participant’s sensation of being in the virtual environment (Slater)

Walking Experiment at

UNC – Chapel Hill

key elements of virtual reality experience1
Key Elements of Virtual Reality Experience
  • Sensory Feedback – information about the virtual world is presented to the participant’s senses
    • Visual (most common)
    • Audio
    • Touch
  • Interactivity – the virtual world responds to the user’s actions.
    • Computer makes this possible
    • Real-time

Walking Experiment at

UNC – Chapel Hill

why vr
Why VR?
  • Experience Things that are
    • Dangerous
    • Expensive
    • Logistically Difficult
  • For
    • Learning
    • Exploration
    • Training
  • Get together and come up w/ an application
augmented reality
Augmented Reality
  • A combination of a real scene viewed by a user and a virtual scene generated by a computer that augments the scene with additional information.

Ultrasound Visualization Research at

UNC – Chapel Hill

All Virtual Objects

All Real Objects

  • The use of various technologies to produce the effect of placing the user in another location.

All Virtual Objects

All Real Objects

artificial reality myron kruger
Artificial Reality (Myron Kruger)

Responsive Environment

  • Is an environment where human behavior is perceived by a computer which interprets what it observes and responds through intelligent visual and auditory displays

All Virtual Objects

All Real Objects

classical simulation
Classical Simulation
  • Classical simulation is a mix of real objects and computer generated stimuli.

All Virtual Objects

All Real Objects

virtual reality1
Virtual Reality
  • Ideal for VR is that everything you experience is computer-generated.

All Virtual Objects

All Real Objects

immersive technology
Immersive Technology
  • Head-mounted Display
    • Optical System
    • Image Source (CRT or LCD)
    • Mounting Apparatus
    • Earphones
    • Position Tracker
immersive technology1
Immersive Technology
  • Multi-screen Projection of stereoscopic images (CAVE)
immersive technology2
Immersive Technology
  • Single large stereoscopic display
    • Projection-based
    • Head-tracked
    • Possible tracking of hands and arms.
    • Brings virtual objects into the physical world
other characteristics
Other Characteristics
  • Head and body tracking implies that visual content is always computed and rendered in “real time” (10-60 frames/second).
  • In virtual reality you have a sense of, and interact with, three-dimensional things as opposed to pictures or movies of things.
user s perspective
User’s perspective
  • Setting
  • Objects in world
  • Other participants
  • Active/Passive
    • Factory Simulation
    • Architectural Walkthrough

Most current applications:

  • Special Purpose
  • Interaction simple and/or infrequent
  • Sidestep limitations of graphics and haptics
  • A few expensive systems are sold to a few rich people
clinical virtual reality
Clinical Virtual Reality

The direct use of VR as a tool in the treatment or assessment of psychological and physical disorders.

Hunter Hoffman

HITLab – University of Washington

immersive virtual characters for educating medical communication skills

Immersive Virtual Characters for Educating Medical Communication Skills

J. Cendan, M. Cohen, A. Stevens, P. Wagner, D. S. Lind

Department of Surgery (College of Medicine)

M. Duerson, R. Pualey

Department of Community Health and Family Medicine (College of Medicine)

K. Johnsen, A. Raij, B. Rossen R. Dickerson, B. Lok

Department of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (College of Engineering)

R. Ferdig

College of Education

The University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Societal Concerns

Negative Training Transfer

Race Studies

lessons learned hype machine
Lessons Learned (Hype Machine)
  • Society Impact
    • Promise
    • Actual
  • Use it to talk to your grandmother in a virtual pagoda
  • Sound familiar?
    • Buying cat food online
  • Hard!
  • Training
  • What needs to be improved?
    • Interfaces? Graphics? Realism?
skill set
Skill Set
  • “Oh I don’t want to program, I just want to create stuff”
  • Architect or Car analogy
  • Programming -> tool to create what is in your imagination
  • Programming proficiency goal: be able to code anything that you imagine
  • To do what you saw before we use:
    • C/C++, OpenGL, many different libraries
  • Math, math, and yet more math!!!
    • Differential equations (simulations, physics engines), linear algebra (transforms, 3D manipulations), statistics
graduate school
Graduate School
  • Programming Team Lead at RockStar Games
    • Worked on Midnight Club 2
  • Renderman Developer at Pixar
    • Worked on the Jellyfish of Nemo and The Incredibles
  • Software Engineer for Interactive Media for Disney
    • Worked on Toon Town, online capable titles
  • Worked at 989 Sports, EA Sports, Freedom Force, etc.
  • What did they all have in common?
    • Published scientific journals in computer science
    • Graduate school in computer science
    • Worked on efficient collision detection, particle systems, curved surfaces, virtual reality, etc.
    • All had
      • GRE scores in the top 10%
      • Went to a top graduate school (admission is tough)
      • Strong math and science and coding
      • Why would a CS professor want to work with you?
interested take the following
Interested? Take the following…
  • CAP4730 Computational Structures in Computer Graphics (Spring ‘07)
  • CAP4930/6930 Design and Creation of Virtual Environments (Spring ’07)
  • CAP4930/6930 Human-Computer Interaction (Fall ’08)
  • Computational Geometry
  • Computer Simulation Concepts
  • Aesthetic Computing
  • Digital Arts and Sciences Degree
virtual experiences group
Virtual Experiences Group
  • PhD Students (6)
    • Kyle Johnsen
    • Aaron Kotranza
    • John Quarrels
    • Andrew Raij
    • Brent Rossen
    • Xiyong Wang
  • Undergraduates (2)
    • Harold Rodriguez
    • Joshua Horton

Thank you! Questions?