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Guerilla VR

Josephine Anstey
Electronic Visualization Laboratory
University of Illinois at Chicago
851 South Morgan Street
Room 1120
Chicago, Illinois 60607 USA
anstey@evl.uic.edu
www.evl.uic.edu/anstey

Two roving ImmersaDesks travelled throughout SIGGRAPH 98 to:

  • Demonstrate networked virtual environments in the Orange County Convention Center.
  • Run "multi-way" networked environments connected to users at remote sites.
  • Showcase stand-alone, interactive, VR projects.

The virtual worlds in Guerilla VR present participatory narratives; push technical limitations to create lush, almost tangible imagery; and launch users into networked interaction with other people.

Among other applications, Guerilla VR features:

  • Asteroid A-612, an application that allows several remotely located participants to simultaneously explore a very small planet. It is designed to help teach children that the world is round by allowing them to explore a world that is much more obviously spherical than our own.
  • Dimension World, which uses the three dimensions of VR to teach about hypercubes and 4D math. The instructor is remotely located.
  • The Thing Growing, where a participant in one location interacts with a virtual character while, in another location, another participant influences the characteršs behavior and the progression of the virtual story.
Jennifer James, Celebrity Auto Spokesperson

Barbara Hayes-Roth
Extempo Systems, Inc.
650 Saratoga Avenue
San Jose, California 95129 USA
bhr@extempo.com
www.extempo.com/
AnimaTek International, Inc.
www.animatek-int.com/

Jennifer James is a consumer-friendly, intelligent, interactive 3D ex-NASCAR driver who greets visitors at a virtual auto show and engages them in a dynamically customized five to ten-minute dialog. Through natural social conversation, Ms. James elicits and offers information as she matches visitors to vehicles suited to their lifestyles and preferences. During this sales process, she applies dialog, facial expressions, and animated gestures to establish a relationship between her sponsor and each visitor. Ms. James exemplifies a new generation of interactive characters who will offer consumers a familiar and compelling sales experience.

Islands of Adventure

J. Michael Moshell
University of Central Florida
Computer Science Department,
Box 25000
Orlando, Florida 32816 USA
moshell@cs.ucf.edu
www.creat.cas.ucf.edu/

Islands of Adventure is a series of imaginary experiences based on a real place-to-be: the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando. Working with Universal Creative and Real3D, the University of Central Floridašs CREAT Digital Media Program, a student-faculty team, pushes the edges of what is possible in VRML by developing and rendering elaborate computer-generated scenery and hand-drawn animation.

The project simulates what a typical Web interaction might be like when homes are routinely equipped with high-performance 3D graphics-capable and sound-capable information systems. SIGGRAPH 98 attendees used Silicon Graphics workstations and high-performance PC equipment equipped with Real3D graphics systems to experience a virtual theme park. Others visited the theme park via a VRML-based Web site.

Gesture VR: Gesture Interface to Spatial Reality

Jakub Segen
Bell Laboratories
Room 4E-632
101 Crawfords Corner Road
Holmdel, New Jersey 07733 USA
segen@lucent.com

Collaborator
Senthil Kumar
Bell Laboratories

In this demonstration, users interact with spatial simulations by means of a novel hand gesture recognition interface technology developed at Bell Labs. A freely moving, gloveless hand is the sole input device. Image sequences of the user's hand motions, acquired by video cameras, are processed by a computer program that recognizes gestures and calculates the hand's parameters. This information is used for precise control of navigation in 3D space, for grasping and moving objects on the screen, or to provide a new kind of interface in video games.

Users fly through the Yosemite Valley by pointing in 3D; they "grasp" and move objects to compose 3D scenes; they play a video game (such as Doom) in which a character is directed by hand pointing, and game actions are triggered by gestures.

Isle of Write: Communication is the Landscape

Dorèe Duncan Seligmann and Cati Laporte
Bell Laboratories
Room 4G-608
101 Crawfords Corner Road
Holmdel, New Jersey 07733 USA
doree@bell-labs.com
cati@bell-labs.com

The Isle of Write is a dynamic VRML world for temporal messaging based on the metaphors of writing in the sand and skywriting. Adapted for the SIGGRAPH 98 community, it provided alternatives to the physical message boards, programs and calendars, handwritten posters announcing new Birds of a Feather (BOF) meetings, etc. typically used by attendees.

On this island surrounded by an animated seascape, the beach is the surface of several bulletin boards, and the sky is the surface on which broadcast messages are written. Visitors post messages using the SandTypewriter, and they dispatch the skywriting plane with the SkyWriter. Other conference materials populated the island, including paper abstracts printed on flying LiveWebStationery, BOF updates in SandCastles, and campfires fed by log statistics.

MicroDisplay Camera Phone

Stephanie Silman
The MicroDisplay Corporation
3055 Research Drive
San Pablo, California 94806 USA
silman@microdisplay.com
www.microdisplay.com

The MicroDisplay Camera Phone is an innovative, interactive demonstration created to illustrate the potential of the convergence of telecommunications, computer, and information technology. Users can make virtual calls with the Camera Phone, viewing real-time video on the phone's tiny display. When speaking normally into the phone, the user views live video images communicated to the phonešs virtual viewer by the camera, which is directed to gather images from the useršs field of view. Other visitors can participate in the virtual calls by viewing the same video feed on large, stationary monitors.

MAGNET

Julien Signés and J. Jeffrey Close
France Telecom R&D
1000 Marina Boulevard, Suite 300
Brisbane, California 94005 USA
julien.signes@rd.francetelecom.com
jeffrey.close@rd.francetelecom.com

MAGNET, France Telecom's research and development project for streaming, interactive multimedia, is an implementation of VRML97 and MPEG4 for scalable platforms in telecommunications environments.

MAGNET will enable delivery of a media-rich environment over very low, consumer-available bandwidth such as 33K modems. Because it implements the VRML97 and MPEG4 standards, MAGNET represents a near-future technology that will be widely accessible to an Internet consumer audience, to business intranets and extranets, and to content creators. The compression capabilities in MPEG and binary encoding for VRML demonstrate the exploitation of this low-bandwidth medium. The MAGNET architecture is scalable, and future work will include implementations for scaled-down clients such as laptops or smaller devices.

underscore

John Underkoffler
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
20 Ames Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA
jh@media.mit.edu

Hearing music: we know this sort of thing well. Looking at music: there is such a thing as that, but we know it not nearly so well. The one is effortless, you say. The other is difficult.

But if, you then muse: if there were something that you could apply, that led you through a printed score in synchrony with its aural performance and in a way that always made clear the relationship of the seen to the heard...

If, you ponder: if it let you navigate this music, not just with PLAY and PAUSE and REW and FF but also by swooping and diving, peering forward and back piloting through the score as if above a landscape of notes...

If, you mull: if it gave you breadcrumblike markers to drop so you could find your way back to the best parts, if it let you create excerpts, if it ran on SGI hardware, if it above all venerated the beauty of musical typography...

Well, then...

CIMBLE: A Collaborative Learning Environment

Edward Wagner
The Franklin Institute
222 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 USA
+1.215.448.1119
ewagner@fi.edu
www.cadett.fi.edu

CIMBLE (CADETT Interactive Multi-User Business Learning Environment) enables six participants and a facilitator to enter a VRML world as 3D avatars and work together as a team on a guided task. The project is designed to integrate structured training methods into a sophisticated 3D world where the participants are no longer working in the same location. Since virtual, distributed work teams are replacing many traditional work teams, guidelines need to be developed to make this training effective in this new virtual environment. The CIMBLE prototype and project evaluation data highlight the results of a new effort in this area of online communities.

CIMBLE is a template for adult learning that accommodates a wide variety of training topics. The initial emphasis is on the soft skills required for effective teamwork. Other topics that may lend themselves well to this mode of learning include hazardous materials training, precision manufacturing, plant operations, military command and control, military field training (other than war scenarios), and group engineering and design applications.

 


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