by Robert van Liere
From practical calibration procedures for Augmented Reality and effects on group collaboration on presence in a collaborative virtual environment to a virtual planetarium. The 6th Eurographics Workshop on Virtual Environments covered a broad range of topics, reflecting the expanding scope virtual reality. This workshop organized by the Eurographics Association, was held June 1-2 at the CWI in Amsterdam. ERCIM acted as a co-sponsor to the workshop.
The workshop was attended by 56 participants, which was much more than initially expected. In addition, the organizers were very pleased that the participants came from all over the world. This reflects the growing interest in virtual environments as a field of research.
The keynote speaker Michael Zyda from the Navel Postgraduate School in Monterey, California gave a very interesting talk on the Modeling, Virtual Environments and Simulation Program. The talk focussed on research directions in the field of entertainment. Zyda gave his views on technologies for immersion (low-cost 3D image generation, spatial tracking, game platform utilization, multimodal sensory presentation), networked simulation (high bandwidth networks, dynamically extensible network software architectures, area of interest management, latency reduction) and computer-generated autonomy (agent-based simulation, adaptability, learning, human behavior representations). Zyda gave examples of how entertainment in virtual environments could take advantage of these technologies and which bottlenecks still have to be overcome.
The workshop ended at the Dutch supercomputer center, SARA, in which a transatlantic collaborative virtual walk-through demonstration was given. Two CAVEs, one at the SARA in Amsterdam and one at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory in Illinois, were linked with a 155 Mbit ATM link. In one demonstration, participants could collaboratively walk through a virtual building which was designed by the Dutch architect Remco Koolhaas.
The atmosphere at workshop was very relaxed and enjoyable; the participants particularly enjoyed the social event at the end of the first day: a traditional Indonesian Rijsttafel in the heart of Amsterdam. (In fact, the social event clearly effected the number of participants at the first session of the second day!)
Conference website: http://www.cwi.nl/egve00/
Robert van Liere - CWI
Tel: +31 20 592 4118