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Virtual instrumentation and virtual environments

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1 Author(s)
Spoelder, H.J.W. ; Dept. of Phys. & Astron., Vrije Univ., Netherlands

The objective of this work is to chart intriguing new possibilities and challenges resulting from the driving force and enabling factors of computing power and bandwidth that lie ahead of the instrumentation-and-measurement community. We do so by describing research and applications on the boundary between measurement, instrumentation, and virtual environments, and elucidate trends with some examples. We focus on three issues that are relevant to our view. The first issue deals with some of the essentials of instrument computer coupling. This part has a review-like character, and shows how the traditional hardware instrument was transformed into a network-accessible virtual instrument. The second issue deals with the changes in the programming paradigm and user interface of the virtual instrument. Here, we discuss how the notions of object and the advances of computer graphics transformed the programming model and the interaction of the user with it and its associated data. The third part deals with new developments, which we label virtual environments. It also deals with (sensor) data fusion in abstract environments. We show how this work can be seen as a logical fusion of the previous two developments

Published in:

Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 3 )