Summer Internship Enables UIC/EVL Student to Work on Multi-Person Virtual Reality
Participants: Victor Mateevitsi
Institutions: Microsoft Research
Victor Mateevitsi, a University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) PhD student in the Computer Science (CS) Department and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), applied to Microsoft Research for a 2015 summer internship to work on virtual and augmented reality systems. Selected, he worked in Jaron Lanier’s lab; Lanier is a highly regarded computer scientist, writer and composer, who pioneered virtual and augmented reality in the 1980s. Lanier is researching multi-person mixed reality - i.e., enabling more than one person to interact with the same virtual object or phenomenon at the same time.
Mateevitsi, whose PhD advisor is CS Associate Professor and EVL Director of Research Andy Johnson, is interested in Human Augmentics and Sensory Augmentation; i.e., how wearable technologies and body sensors affect people’s perception of the world around them and, more specifically, how these devices can improve one’s awareness in complex environments.
Given his interest in wearable technologies, the opportunity to work on augmented reality at Microsoft Research for the summer, particularly under the tutelage of a luminary in the field, was a wonderful opportunity. Mateevitsi worked on applications with interns from Stanford University, MIT Media Lab, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Georgia Tech, and other notable institutions.
Lanier’s project is called Comradre (pronounced “comradery”). Headsets were made using smartphones and laptop computers, and the tracking of a person’s head movements were performed using external sensors. Mateevitsi worked with a small group to create a system that allowed sound waves to be detected and then shown visually. In one scene from the group’s video, the sound produced by Lanier’s flute playing was shown in mixed reality.
To learn more about how researchers in Lanier’s lab at Microsoft Research are exploring ways for people to share experiences in mixed reality, see the October 12, 2015 article “Microsoft Researchers Are Working on Multi-Person Virtual Reality” by Will Night, published in the MIT Technology Review.
Date: November 10, 2015