A book that presents an overall view of VR philosophy, technology and applications. VR spans a range of computer science fields from artificial intelligence to computer graphics to HCI (human computer interaction). Virtual reality is a computer simulation of a real or metaphorical environment that allows the user to interact in real time. The book provides a strong background and foundation in VR and is a source of real world applications that illustrate and illuminate the theoretical information. Its unique approach combines applications with core VR material.
VR is a developing field and new applications for it are springing up all the time. Where applications for VR are generally seen by the public as focusing on the entertainment fields, the actual research and development in VR is now heavily focused on the medical, scientific, industrial, and educational fields.
The book begins with VR background - where the technology came from and a description of the medium of VR. It then describes and explains the equipment, the system requirements, and how these fit together to make a complete VR system that will meet specific needs and goals. The book discusses experience design and goal analysis to help the reader decide whether VR will work for them and how to get started designing the experience. The appendices are application case studies covering educational, industrial, artistic, and scientific uses of VR.
Part I - What is Virtual Reality? Chapter 1: Introduction to Virtual Reality - What it is and Where it Comes From Chapter 2: VR the Medium
Part II - Virtual Reality Systems Chapter 3: Interface to the Virtual World -- Input Chapter 4: Interface to the Virtual World -- Output Chapter 5: Rendering a Virtual World Chapter 6: Interacting with a Virtual World Chapter 7: Virtual Reality Experience Chapter 8: Experience Design: Applying VR to a Problem Chapter 9: What Dreams May Come: The Future of VR
Appendices A: NICE educational application (EVL) B: Crumbs visualization application (NCSA) C: Aircraft wiring application (Boeing, Inc.) D: Placeholder artistic application (Interval Research)
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- © Morgan Kaufmann 2003
- 4th September 2002
- Morgan Kaufmann
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"Understanding Virtual Reality is truly the most complete reference book to emerge from the VR field in the past ten years." —Tom DeFanti, Professor University of Illinois at Chicago, Co-Inventor of the CAVE (R) "Understanding Virtual Reality is the introduction to the medium of VR that we have all been desiring for our beginning courses." —Michael Zyda, Director, The MOVES Institute "A comprehensive overview of virtual reality technologies and techniques. Using real-world examples from diverse fields, the book makes a case for VR as an increasingly effective and applicable communications medium. With its broad scope, straightforward style and companion instructional Web site, this book would make an excellent introductory text for students exploring virtual reality applications." - Design Issues