Spring 2001 Final Exam

Here is the scenario:

You are approached by the curators of the Field Museum here in Chicago who want to create a virtual reality exhibit about dinosaurs to complement their existing collection (e.g. Sue the Tyranosaurus) and be a shared resource with other natural history museums around the country.

The exhibit will be a permanent exhibit taking up a room three times the size of the main room in EVL (the one with the CAVE). You have at most $2,000,000 dollars to work with, but obviously they would prefer a less expensive solution. Pick appropriate currently available hardware, and defend your decisions.

The content is also up to you. How would VR best add to a person's knowledge of dinosaurs where there is added benefit compared to walking around the reconstructed skeletons, or watching 'Walking with Dinosaurs' or Jurassic Park. The applications should primarily be educational, but also entertaining. The audience will range from 10 year olds to senior citizens. You should have at least two, and at most three different applications running in this space. Describe the applications in enough detail for me to believe that they could be implemented and I get a good sense of how they would be experienced. The applications should also require VR technology to be effective. So how is VR defined in this situation? stereo visuals, audio, some form of tracking, haptics if you wish, augmented reality if you wish.

As with all museum exhibits, throughput is important - they need to move people through the exhibit at a reasonable rate, so a person should be in and out of the room within at most 30 minutes, and the room should be able to hold at least 50 people at a time.

If you wish you can also make use of other technology other than VR within this room - eg flatpanel displays, or touch screens, or portable CD players, or handhelds, if they enhance the VR experience. You can also feel free to schedule a reasonable number of staff members.

At least one of the applications should be collaborative to connect with a handful of other museums around the country.

Write down your proposal for how you would create this VR exhibit. Your proposal should contain both text and drawings - whatever best illustrates the points you are trying to make. Be sure to defend your proposal. You need to give good reasons to back up your choices.

Think before you write. Organize your thoughts. You may want to use scrap paper to write down ideas and do quick sketches before you come up with your final proposal. Your final proposal must be organized, and to the point. Liberal use of headings would be appreciated. Readability is important. Organize your time. You have two hours. Its very easy to run out of time on a question like this without covering important areas. Be sure to cover the breadth of issues involved. Perhaps creating an outline early in the process would be helpful.

last revision 11/01/14