Virtual Reality

Professional Development Seminar at ESS 99 by
Dietmar P.F. Möller and Björn Kesper
University of Hamburg, Dept. Computer Science
Chair: Computer Engineering
Vogt-Kölln-Str. 30, D-22527 Hamburg
email: dietmar.


In simulation science the methodology of Virtual Reality, short VR-world, or virtual environments, offers possibilities for

Virtual environments, like simulators, are a natural domain for collabo-rative activities because they allow users doing things they cannot do in reality, e.g. being within a molecule, being inside the combustion chamber of an automobile engine, walking through a tunnel in "outer space", etc. For all these areas and others, the inclusion of a metaphor incorporating a notation of a virtual world provides significant enrich-ment. In general, virtual environment allow sharing simulations.

As in real laboratory spaces and design centers people must be able to talk to each other, move around, connect equipment, build up test sets, design systems highlight points of interest for others to consider, and jointly edit documents, reports and 3-D models. The ultimate promise of virtual reality, though, is that users will be able to do things they cannot do so easy in reality. In such cases, users will be able to jointly interact with simulations.

Many virtual space applications, if not already now, will in the future make use of specific graphics. The virtual space will be visualized in two or three dimensions, and the people in charge with the outer space domain can interact with the space, e.g. like flighting through a tunnel, or interacting with other participants through a graphical user interface. The interweaving of functionality, distribution, efficiency, and openess aspects is very noticeable in computer graphis. The virtual space is graphically visualized flamboyance and for the most part the people in charge with the outer space application domain should see the same image. In our real tunnel building project, irrespective of the number of participants, a state change in the virtual space needs to be communica-ted to all in charge with the project.

Hence, for outer space domain, a three-dimensional, multiuser virtual reality tool for tunnel building projects was developed, consisting of the following main components:

When objects are created, they inherit the properties and verbs of their ancestors. Additional verbs and properties as well as specializations of inherited com-ponents may be defined to give the new object its unique behaviour and appearance.

This time-limited professional developer seminar offers nothing more nothing less than first impressions and ideas in and of virtual reality, and for everyone interested in these topics it should not be only the starting point it should be a tool for doing. Hence the participants will recieve a documentation dealing