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The present work concerns immersive virtual reality (IVR) experiments carried out for prospective applications in the mining industry. Demonstrated technologies are also suitable for use in generic training and e-learning fields. Visualisation is handled by the Unity3D 2.5 multiplatform game development tool, which communicates over .Net socket servers with data feeds from a 5DT Data Glove Ultra that measures finger flexures, and an iPhone based touchpad device. The iPhone also provides orientation data pertaining to acceleration and rotational attributes, such as, pitch, roll and yaw. The user is placed at the focal point of a 4-m dome and experiences the immersive virtual reality environment display. Navigation and object manipulation by the user is made possible through the combination of hardwired buttons, in-world selection techniques and gesture recognition. The techniques are directly applicable to the monitoring of mining environments, in which mining equipment is surrounded by various sensor networks.
Date of Conference: 20-23 April 2010