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The Responsive Workbench [virtual work environment]

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2 Author(s)
W. Krueger ; German Nat. Res. Center for Comput. Sci., St. Augustin, Germany ; B. Froehlich

The Responsive Workbench concept was developed as an alternative to the multimedia and virtual reality systems of the past decade. It was recognized that almost nobody wants simulations of their working worlds in a desktop environment. Generally. users want to focus on their tasks rather than on operating the computer. The Responsive Workbench is a virtual working environment that locates virtual objects and control tools on a real "workbench". The objects-computer-generated stereo images-are projected onto the surface of a workbench. This setting corresponds to the actual work situation in an architect's office, in surgery, and so forth. A human guide uses the virtual working environment while several collaborators watch events through stereo shutter glasses. The participants operate within a nonimmersive virtual environment. Depending on the application, the virtual workbench can integrate various input and output modules, such as motion, gesture, and voice recognition systems. This characterizes the general trend away from the classical human-machine interface. Several guides can work together in similar environments either locally or by using broadband communication networks. A responsive environment, consisting of powerful graphics workstations, tracking systems, cameras, projectors, and microphones, replaces the traditional multimedia desktop workstation.<>

Published in:

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 3 )