VR Research Web is the first artistic use of hypermedia as a communication medium to make broadly accessible the collected projects, prototypes and research of a university research center. Developed by Comm Tech Lab Director Dr. Carrie Heeter, this CD-ROM takes rich advantage of multimedia elements including digital sound and video, graphics and text in communicating about Michigan State University's virtual reality research. Magazines and journals offer researchers a small space in which to write about one aspect of their research. Although most of MSU's research has been presented or published somewhere, no single person reads all of the journals or attends all of the conferences. Thus, people would otherwise be aware only of portions of what we have done, and only through the printed word.
The CD-ROM is divided into four sections. You can either touch either the graphics above or the words hereafter to get more information about those sections: Published Articles, with interactive tables of contents; VR Surveys and Prototypes which include text descriptions and digital video of the commercial services (BattleTech and FighterTown) and of the MSU prototypes studied. Full text of the research questionnaires and baseline data are included. In the Concept Billboards section of the CD-ROM, we highlight and illustrate interesting concepts in a way which could not be otherwise published. The fourth section offers images and descriptions About the Comm Tech Lab.
All of these are integrated into a cool cyberspace hypermedia interface with 18 VR video clips and 112 sound effects & interview quotes from the Michigan State University Comm Tech Lab. The organizing metaphor is a spider's web of interconnected research. Clicking on the spider takes you back to the main menu. Color and design of the interface are based on four main colors -- grey, orange, dark green and black. The screens are consistent and feel interconnected with a dark, slightly sinister tinge to the futuristic monitor displays . Feedback sound effects are sampled from the VR experiences and from user interviews.
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