General Motors Tele-Immersive VisualEyes

Randall C. Smith- General Motors Research and Development Center

David A. Brown- Electronic Data Systems (EDS)

Jason Leigh- >NCSA/EVL

General Motors has developed VisualEyes- an application that allows designers to import 3D CAD models into the CAVE for quick visualinspection and design reviews. This initial use of CAVE-based technology has generated considerable interest in other GM sites around the world, some of whom are planning their own CAVE installations. This has prompted GM to further extend VisualEyes to allow GM's trans-globally situated design and manufacturing teams to collaborate in remote design reviews. The goal is to allow designers to both synchronously and asynchronously access a design that persists and evolves over time.

VE was retro-fitted with tele-immersive capabilities by incorporating one of CAVERNsoft's avatar templates. Then the scene graphs of each participating VE client were linked using CAVERNsoft's shared memory services allowing the change of one part of a design to be automatically shared amongst all the other participants. As the goal was to develop both a synchronous and asynchronous tool, CAVERNsoft's database services were used to save the state of the environment before all the participants left. As CAVERNsoft is client/server symmetric, VE clients were able to connect to each other or to a central broadcasting server (which itself was a CAVERNsoft program, but without any graphics capabilities.)