BYU-BYU-View: A Wind Communication Interface

BYU-BYU-View adds air to the interaction between a user and a virtual environment, and communication through a network, by integrating the graphics presentation with wind inputs and outputs on a special screen.

Enhanced Life

As a telecommunication tool, BYU-BYU-View could enable a system that presents a cutaneous sensation that distant lovers are sharing the same space. As an interface in a virtual environment, it could add the cutaneous sensation of air movement to sight and sound in a novel game. It could become a new input tool for people who have limited abilities with their hands or feet, or a communication method for deaf or blind people that delivers information directly to the skin.

Goals

Establishment of a totally new interface that uses air as a tool of communication and interaction.

Innovations

This system includes three core innovations:
  • The screen uses a special air-permeable material, developed by Teijin Nestex Limited, that can display images with the same clarity and beauty as a movie screen. It naturally integrates the input/output of air movement and projected images.

  • To sense and present air movement, a behind-the-screen system of sensors and output mechanisms detects incoming air movement and delivers air movement to the user.

  • The screen is not only a graphical display, but also a wind interface between a virtual environment and the real world.

Vision

This prototype system was exhibited in the IVRC2006 virtual reality contest, where it won second prize. Since then, it has been revised to realize more dynamic wind output using a blower array for the output and heat sensors for detection of the input.

At SIGGRAPH 2007, BYU-BYU-View powers two experiences:

  • An application that uses real video images for telecommunication. Two users see each other's faces on separate screens and communicate by breathing or blowing toward their screens. Their air movements transmit cutaneous sensations for real-time communication.

  • An application that combines real images and physical simulation. The virtual environment intervenes between the users, who experience wind as an information medium. For example: virtual air hockey, in which players move a puck with air movements, and virtual breakout, in which players use breath to move blocks.

Contact

Erika Sawada
The University of Electro-Communications
BBV (at) hi.mce.uec.ac.jp

Contributors

Shinya Ida
Tatsuhito Awaji
Keisuke Morishita
Tomohisa Aruga
Ryuta Takeichi
Tomoko Fujii
Hidetoshi Kimura
Toshinari Nakamura
Masahiro Furukawa
Noriyoshi Shimizu
The University of Electro-Communications

Takuji Tokiwa
Hideaki Nii
The University of Tokyo

Maki Sugimoto
Masahiko Inami
The University of Electro-Communications