Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virtual reality at work, literally

03.05.2004


Technology experts may claim that ground breaking virtual reality (VR) may greatly benefit industry, but in reality how can it be implemented in the workplace and be used to its best advantage? VIEW OF THE FUTURE provides some answers.



This recently completed IST programme-funded project was initiated "to translate the theoretical value of VR into a practical tool in the workplace whilst at the same time looking into how to make systems more useable for the end users," explains John Wilson, project coordinator and professor of human factors at the University of Nottingham.

Drawing on the expertise of project partners representing key user groups five main barriers were identified to the widespread adoption of virtual reality and virtual environments (VE): difficulties in using it; the need for better technical development; problems of its integration with current workplace technology; the lack of practical examples and evidence of how VR would be beneficial; and possible health and safety problems.


With real industrial end-user input, developers were able to update the VR technology and create new tools to meet the user’s demands and improve usability. These tools allow users to control the 3D menu with ease and accuracy, or find where they, and others, have been in the VE, what they did and even add relevant information. Many different impressive developments have taken place in hardware and software. For instance PI-casso, a totally mobile VR system developed within the project, "gives a high quality VR experience that isn’t anchored to one place and is accessible to a wider range of users," says Wilson.

The possibility to customise VR systems is also possible through a Basic Application Framework. "BAF provides a set of tools to allow engineers and other users in companies to develop a Virtual Environment that meets their own needs and to their own specifications," explains Wilson. New interaction devices as well as the associated 3D user interfaces and navigation metaphors were also developed within the project. They can be used in combination with every VR installation. The BAF supports the new devices "hornet", "bug", and "dragonfly’ and the PI-casso system uses some of them as standard interaction devices.

Helping to bring together the worlds of computer aided design (CAD) and VR to better improve the integration of current systems, VIEW OF THE FUTURE held two workshops. One took place in Athens, Greece on 24-25 September 2002 and the other in Noordwijk, The Netherlands on 16-17 December 2003. Outcomes from the workshop have been very insightful for developers and these workshops will continue long after VIEW OF THE FUTURE. "For the first time a community across Europe has been created so that the very difficult integration of CAD and VR can start to take shape," comments Wilson.

With real industrial partners involved in the project, it was possible to develop VR/VE on the basis of identified human and organisational needs, have continuous evaluation against utility and usability criteria, and trial the applications developed to showcase the possible value of having VR technology in the workplace. Industrial companies are still carrying out R&D for VR systems and plan to use the products that have already been developed by VIEW OF THE FUTURE.

The conclusion of the project’s final report states, "the VIEW OF THE FUTURE project has successfully moved the field of VR/VE development, application and evaluation forward, in terms of good adventurous science and also well-founded, industrially relevant application."

However, further research must be carried out in this field if the potential value of VR/VE is to be fully realised and the European Research Area strengthened, for instance on collaborative and distributed workspaces as well as the new ambient intelligence at work theme. VIEW OF THE FUTURE has led the way and now other research projects must build on the research completed. "The new Thematic Network of Excellence, INTUITION, has been set up on the basis of VIEW OF THE FUTURE and new projects will emerge which take further the notion of the powerful, high quality and mobile visualisation workplace of the future," comments Wilson.

Contact:
Professor John Wilson
Institute for Occupational Ergonomics
University of Nottingham
Nottingham NG7 2RD
United Kingdom
Tel: +44-115-9514004
Fax: +44-115-9514009
Email: john.wilson@nottingham.ac.uk

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&ID=64907

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>