Electronic Visualization Laboratory
University of Illinois at Chicago
851 South Morgan Street
Chicago, Illinois 60607 USA
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:
Jennifer James, Celebrity Auto Spokesperson
- 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.
Extempo Systems, Inc.
650 Saratoga Avenue
San Jose, California 95129 USA
AnimaTek International, Inc.
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,
Orlando, Florida 32816 USA
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
101 Crawfords Corner Road
Holmdel, New Jersey 07733 USA
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
101 Crawfords Corner Road
Holmdel, New Jersey 07733 USA
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
The MicroDisplay Corporation
3055 Research Drive
San Pablo, California 94806 USA
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.
Julien Signés and J. Jeffrey Close
France Telecom R&D
1000 Marina Boulevard, Suite 300
Brisbane, California 94005 USA
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.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
20 Ames Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 USA
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...
CIMBLE: A Collaborative Learning Environment
The Franklin Institute
222 North 20th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103 USA
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
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