Week 1

Introduction to the Course and a Bunch of Demos

Overview of the Course

The big goals for the course

And some others offered next term

Safety Information

As one of the primary goals of virtual reality is to immerse you in a simulated world, and of augmented reality to combine the real world with a virtual world. the various technologies make extensive use of motion tracking, interactive graphics, and sound. This can lead to varying degrees of simulator sickness including nausea, fatigue, headache, eyestrain, vertigo, and dizziness with different devices and different computer generated or enhanced environments.


HTC has a pretty nice set of safety guidelines for the use of the VIVE  that are generally applicable:


and of course there are lots of videos on YouTube of people hurting themselves, or others, or the technology, or their surroundings while in VR. Note that when people hurt themselves and others they often swear so NSFW language ahead.


and videos of people having similar AR issues walking into things while playing Pokemon Go (or in some cases perhaps just looking at their phones too much) back in the late 201Xs.



As the title of the class suggests, we will be doing a lot of work with these technologies. The first two projects will be augmented reality applications and the third project will involve the creation and demonstration of a virtual reality world with the VIVE, which normally would require spending time in VR to create these worlds, so be sure that you are comfortable with doing this.

Most people are fine with VR/AR, and people do tend to feel less simulator sickness with repeated usage, but some people have serious issues, just as some people get car sick, so I want to be sure right from the first classes that everyone knows what they are getting into.


You really need to experience Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to understand why they are different than other interactive computer programs, so we normally spend the two class periods in the first week running various applications to give everyone a better idea what the class will be about. We will be breaking the class into groups and running various Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality demos.

Since we are doing this asynchronously this term I will show some videos and then you can download some of the applications to run on your smartphone. Ideally before the end of the term there will be opportunities to bring people into the lab in small groups to experience VR for real.

Lower cost technology ( < $1,000):

Higher cost technology:  ($1,000 to $5,000)

Much higher cost technology: ( > $ 5,000)

A nice starting point to get a sense of larger scale VR installations like CAVE2 here in EVL is to look at this video from 2017 - https://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=L4gBCtfqZtU

Normally I would suggest that everyone should try and experience all of the different technologies this week, though we will be doing more demos throughout the term, so this won't be your only opportunity.

Project 1 Out

Please check the Project 1 tab under assignments for details. We will talk about this more in class in week 2.

HW 1 Out

Please check the Homework tab under assignments each week as there will generally be an assignment each week, including this one.

Coming Next Time

Tools we are going to use in the class

last revision