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Visualization and analysis using virtual reality

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4 Author(s)
W. Ribarsky ; Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; J. Bolter ; A. Op den Bosch ; R. van Teylingen

Current virtual reality technologies have not yet crossed the threshold of usability. Not surprisingly, VR has so far shown more promise than practical applications. Yet the promise looks bright for fields such as data visualization and analysis. For such problems, VR offers a natural interface between human and computer that will simplify complicated manipulations of the data. It also provides an opportunity to rely on the interplay of combined senses rather than on a single or even dominant sense. Still, we cannot yet say whether VR is better than other visualization and analysis approaches for certain classes of data and, if so, by how much. The payoff will come not for those applications or tasks for which VR is merely better, even if significantly, but for those applications or tasks for which it offers some unique advantage unavailable otherwise. To answer these questions, we embarked on a multipronged program involving the Graphics, Visualization. and Usability (GVU) Center, the Office of Information Technology Scientific Visualization Lab. and other research groups at Georgia Tech. Integration is mandatory since these questions involve basic considerations: how immersive environments affect user interfaces and human-computer interactions; the ranges and capabilities of sensors; computer graphics and the VR optical system; and applications' needs. We describe some of our results.<>

Published in:

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )