January 31st, 2000 - February 3rd, 2000
Daniel J. Sandin (Co-Director, EVL) and Mary Rassmussen (Co-Director, VRMedLab and EVL alumni) presented the plenary talk, “Virtual Reality Demands Radical Human-Computer Interfaces” at the First Australian User Interface Conference, part of the Australian Computer Science Week (ACSW2k). The theme of this event is “Stepping out of Windows”, moving from desktop computing environments that have dominated the 90’s.
Virtual Reality (VR) can be viewed as a significant improvement in the human-computer interface because it supports more perceptual channels and begs for more direct control of the computer system than the standard computer interface. These factors make VR an excellent platform for experimentation with new human-computer interfaces.
VR systems support 3-dimensional graphics, wide angle of view, stereovision, and viewer-centered perspective. In many VR systems the participant is not seated and is free to walk about and gesture broadly. These features make a computer system, which is closer to a workshop, an operating room, or a national park than it is to a desk in an office. This perspective allows freedom in the creation of human-computer interfaces that is not afforded by the current standard interfaces.
Research at EVL, in collaboration with the VRMedLab, is being focused on Tele-Immersion, a combination of tele-conferencing and VR. In this case the computer interface not only involves human and computer interaction, but human-to-human interface issues. The AUIC presentation focused on Tele-Immersive clinical and educational medical applications.