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Applications of the Responsive Workbench

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14 Author(s)
Wesche, G. ; Nat. Res. Center for Inf. Technol., Sankt Augustin, Germany ; Wind, J. ; Gobel, M. ; Rosenblum, L.
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Many interface devices for virtual reality provide full immersion inside the virtual environment. This is appropriate for numerous applications that emphasize navigating through a virtual space. However, a large class of problems exists for which navigation is not the critical issue. Rather, these applications demand a fine-granularity visualization and interaction with virtual objects and scenes. This applies to a host of other applications typically performed on a desktop, table or workbench. Responsive Workbench technology offers a new way to develop virtual environments for this rather sizable class of applications. The Responsive Workbench operates by projecting a computer-generated, stereoscopic image off a mirror and through a table surface. Using stereoscopic shuttered glasses, users observe a 3D image displayed above the tabletop. By tracking the group leader's head and hand movements, the Responsive Workbench permits changing the view angle and interacting with the 3D scene. Other group members observe the scene as the group leader manipulates it, facilitating communication among observers. Typical methods for interacting with virtual objects on the workbench include speech recognition, gesture recognition and a simulated laser pointer (stylus). This article features Responsive Workbench applications from four institutions that have pioneered this technology. The four applications are: visualization, situational awareness, collaborative production modeling and planning, and a virtual windtunnel

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Jul/Aug 1997

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