Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New virtual world order

14.06.2005


An EU project will enable virtual reality to take another step into the real world with a series of innovations that make the technology cheaper, more flexible and more powerful.



"The origins of virtual reality grew out of psychedelic philosophy and they were looking at simulating alternative worlds, not realistic simulations as we have today," says Marc Cavazza, coordinator of the IST project Alterne and computing scientist at the UK’s University of Teesside. "This concept had been forgotten and we wanted to return to it while doing some series scientific work.”

The project team, which includes seven partners from across Europe, developed software that will let a CAVE Immersive projection screen to run on PC clusters, a type of parallel processing that gives massively more computing bang for the buck. This means it will be cheaper to run, because it uses standard PC technology.


But it also means that the system can use standard PC software. Unreal Tournament, a first person shooter video game developed by Epic, is the reference in current gaming technology. It replicates an entire world with predictable physical laws that govern everything from lighting to player movement and ballistics.

Alterne used the game engine from Unreal Tournament, which creates the graphics in the game, and bolted on a series of modules that enable new physical laws.

"The bulk of the contribution of the project is all the software which has been developed on top of the game engine," says Cavazza. "Our alternative reality software consists of a series of modules: those dealing with causality, those dealing with physical laws and we also have modules which can be used to describe artificial life."

What’s more, the team designed the system so that other modules to enable new effects can be added to the system when they are required. "It is only limited by the processing power of the cluster and the imagination of the artist or computer scientist," says Cavazza.

Artists will use the system to create alternative realities as a form of expression. Unfortunately, this is a very limited market in Europe. "There are probably 100 virtual reality artists in Europe," says Cavazza.

But the system will have other applications, both in computer science and graphics.

"Cognitive scientists, for example, are very interested in our work because it will allow them to test new hypothesis on the nature of the perception of causality and higher brain functions," he says.

For example, causality perception, or the perception of cause and effect, is believed to be instant in humans. When something happens we can immediately identify its cause, implying that it is an inherent part of the perception process.

But the perception of causality is a higher brain function, so normally there should be a delay between perception and recognition of causality. The Alterne system will help cognitive scientists to tease out what exactly is happening. "Before Alterne, they didn’t have the tools to explore that," says Cavazza.

There are also important implications for computer science, particularly Human Computer Interactions, which are all about causality.

In the meantime, the project is undergoing its final evaluation right now. "Artists are enthusiastic," says Cavazza. Ultimately, the Alterne system will usher in a new virtual world order.

Tara Morris | alfa
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Defining the backbone of future mobile internet access
21.07.2017 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

nachricht Researchers create new technique for manipulating polarization of terahertz radiation
20.07.2017 | Brown University

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>