CSL is examining the current limits of VR technology to determine how to advance beyond current limits. This will enable VR to be more effectively used in science and engineering applications. In addition, CSL is examining VR technology to determine the use and applicability of standards.
The Systems Integration for Manufacturing Applications (SIMA) project is currently sponsoring work in applied virtual reality. The integration of virtual reality (VR) with manufacturing applications is a perfect fit. VR is usually defined as a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional environment, in which the user is both able to view and manipulate the contents of that environment. In VR, the visuals, sounds and sensations create an actual experience, leaving you free to explore the environment, gather information, and effectively solve problems. As a "real world" experiment we are currently collaborating with Black & Decker and the Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory.
The use of a virtual environments as a front end for information access is one area of exploration.
The VRML Motor Line based on a Black & Decker motor winding line
Customized User Interfaces, illustrates a user interface for one.
House of Immersion and Navigating Information contain several examples of virtual environments as front ends.
Eventually the project will explore issues concerning fusion of the two (geometric and image) types of virtual environments. Geometric based environments are more flexable and image based environments are more realistic. What aspects of each can be used to create fused virtual environments?