chapter  28
152 Pages

- Virtual Environments

Interactive computing has evolved through the years from cryptic command-based interfaces to a collection of taskbased applications to ecologically valid immersive environments, each advance dissolving more of the barrier between users and their desired actions. To many, with virtual environments (VEs), we have reached the panacea in interactive computing. Such environments immerse users in realistic settings, allowing them to engage in an intuitive and intimate

manner with their digital universe. Such capability affords the opportunity to “learn by doing,” “train like we žght,” and “involve me and I understand.” Although early VEs were low in resolution and sluggish in responsiveness, advances in display and tracking technology have largely resolved these issues such that today VE applications abound. However, considerable human-computer interaction (HCI) research and development are required to resolve lingering issues, such as cybersickness and usability, if VE technology is to be openly embraced by users. This chapter reviews the current state of

28.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................... 643 28.2 System Requirements ......................................................................................................................................................644