National Academies Press: OpenBook

Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges (1995)

Chapter: PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY

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Suggested Citation:"PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY." National Research Council. 1995. Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4761.
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II

RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY

Suggested Citation:"PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY." National Research Council. 1995. Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4761.
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This page in the original is blank.
Suggested Citation:"PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY." National Research Council. 1995. Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4761.
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The research and technology that is relevant to the SE field covers an enormous range because of the many disciplines involved, the multimodal aspects of most SE systems, and the wide variety of potential SE applications. Thus, the topics covered in this part are not all-inclusive; they have been selected because they were judged to be relatively crucial by the committee.

The chapters in this part, the heart of the report, mirror the topics in the overview. Specifically, we present detailed information on psychological considerations (Chapter 1) and on the available research and technology involved in the creation of synthetic environments (SE) including human-machine interfaces (Chapters 2-7), computer generation of virtual environments (VEs) (Chapter 8), telerobotics (Chapter 9), networks (Chapter 10), and evaluation (Chapter 11). Much of the material in Chapters 2-7 applies to all kinds of systems (including augmented-reality systems). Chapter 8 is directed specifically toward VE systems, and Chapter 9 covers teleoperator systems.

It should also be noted that the visual channel is treated differently from the other channels and appears in more than one place. The material on the visual channel in Chapter 2 is restricted rather rigorously to human-machine interface issues. However, because most previous work by computer scientists on the computer generation of VEs has focused on the visual channel (i.e., graphics), Chapter 8, which deals with these hardware and software issues, is necessarily focused mainly on the visual channel. In order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the visual channel, it is necessary to read both Chapters 2 and 8.

In contrast, for the auditory, haptic, and other channels, for which the majority of past work has been performed by individuals from other disciplines and has been directly concerned with interface issues (or issues traditionally lumped together with such issues by these individuals), essentially all of the relevant material is contained within each chapter.

It should also be noted that our descriptions of the various channels differ in the extent to which previous knowledge on the part of the reader is assumed. For example, because it is expected that most readers are less familiar with issues related to haptic interfaces than those related to auditory interfaces, more general information is provided.

In principle, the chapter on networks (Chapter 10) is relevant to both VEs and teleoperators; however, most current activities in this area are directed toward the networking of VE systems rather than teleoperator systems. Furthermore, even within the domain of VEs, relatively little attention is being given to the communication of signals required for haptic interactions. These factors too, like those mentioned above, are reflected in the way in which the material is presented.

Suggested Citation:"PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY." National Research Council. 1995. Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4761.
×
This page in the original is blank.
Suggested Citation:"PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY." National Research Council. 1995. Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4761.
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Page 89
Suggested Citation:"PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY." National Research Council. 1995. Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4761.
×
Page 90
Suggested Citation:"PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY." National Research Council. 1995. Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4761.
×
Page 91
Suggested Citation:"PART II RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY." National Research Council. 1995. Virtual Reality: Scientific and Technological Challenges. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4761.
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Page 92
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Despite widespread interest in virtual reality, research and development efforts in synthetic environments (SE)--the field encompassing virtual environments, teleoperation, and hybrids--have remained fragmented.

Virtual Reality is the first integrated treatment of the topic, presenting current knowledge along with thought-provoking vignettes about a future where SE is commonplace.

This volume discusses all aspects of creating a system that will allow human operators to see, hear, smell, taste, move about, give commands, respond to conditions, and manipulate objects effectively in a real or virtual environment. The committee of computer scientists, engineers, and psychologists on the leading edge of SE development explores the potential applications of SE in the areas of manufacturing, medicine, education, training, scientific visualization, and teleoperation in hazardous environments.

The committee also offers recommendations for development of improved SE technology, needed studies of human behavior and evaluation of SE systems, and government policy and infrastructure.

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