Fall 2011 IPRO

IPRO 354: Virtual Reality: The Development of an Advanced Large Scale Immersive Visualization Environment

This EnPRO proposes to conduct an update to the research and business plan developed in EnPRO 351 in the Spring of 2005.

EnPRO 351 Virtual Reality: Developing an Advanced Immersive Visualization Environment at IIT


Digital technology has evolved, speed and cost, to a current level that virtual reality, an immersive visualization environment, can be considered. Desktop digital visualization is common in many of IIT's architectural, engineering, and scientific disciplines. VR as an immersive, large scale graphics environment offers the opportunity to simply enhance the visualization of existing models and data of all types, or be used as platform for a highly interactive, reactive environment that includes real time visual feedback. This type of environment can be extended for not only the visualization of models but also their construction in real time. Reactions can be based on the relationship of viewer and objects or driven by engineering and scientific analysis.

In the Midwest region, at least one university in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Minnesota already have VR installations. Applications range from technical visualization to natural language processing to psychology to art. VR includes augmented reality, mixed reality, and simulated reality.

VR has the potential to impact our every day activities in educational instruction, research, social networking, and entertainment.

Outline for the Semester One:

1. Research VR technology from large scale systems to desktop ones; ones that are commercially available and ones that are University developed; determine the range of capabilities, application, and cost
2. Locate and visit local VR installations and experience firsthand the range of potential applications
3. Propose how a VR installation can be funded; initial space and costs, and ongoing operations; investigate options that students could participate in after hours on a fee basis
4. Develop a specification and budget for a system that could be assembled by a student team, software and hardware; software for completed applications and software for development purposes
5. Research how a VR system could be used in each discipline at IIT and how their existing modeling and data analysis tools can interface such a system
6. Research how VR can be used the areas of gaming, entertainment, and social networking
7. Research how current technologies of text messaging and internet driven devices can be used as interactive responses in a VR environment
8. Research how a large scale immersive graphics environment can enhance current text and voice communications; individually or in a group setting; for example a virtual music group
9. Develop a long range plan on how to integrate VR into teaching at IIT, including these stages:
a. simple large scale, immersive visualization for models and data already available
b. dynamic models: addition of engineering and scientific processes that change the model or data over time and space
c. reactive models: addition of viewer presence and limited modification of models and data
d. constructive models: being able to construct and analyze models in an networked and sharable immersive environment

Overall outline of concept:

Semester One: update system requirements, cost of installation, and potential uses; propose funding
Semester Two: assemble system, prototype initial applications, and demonstrate use
Semester Three and beyond: develop specific applications and continue demonstration of system potential

Students can be recruited from any discipline at IIT that has a need to visualize environments, objects, or data. CS students would be helpful in some of the technical issues.

Potential (Learning Objectives):

This EnPRO includes business plan development and the potential on actual implementation.

Potential (Sponsorship):

Possible research grants obtained by individual units for discipline specific applications or enabling them to expand research objectives based on the use of this technology.

May be considered by the University Innovation Sandbox initiative.

Faculty Qualifications

Previously completed two IPROs and two EnPROs; one of the EnPROs resulted in art @ IIT, an art gallery that I directed for three years; extensive research and teaching in the area of computer graphics for over 29 years.

For examples of past work, please see:

Reasons for Acceptance:

1. requires students from every discipline on campus and results can benefit more than a single unit on campus
2. includes an element of fun; can enhance student life on campus as an entertainment and social networking media
3. can contribute to developing a leading edge technology

Background Resources and Current Developments:

Google Art Project
MixAR: worlds first 3D augmented reality editor for the iPhone
Arizona State University Decision Theater
Design Visualizaation: Duke University and Iowa State University
NSF: Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation
Jeannette M. Wing: Computational Thinking
Denise Harrison: Engaging Students with Giant Visualization


Publications - Autodesk Research

Immersive Virtual Reality Entertainment System
Kinect For Windows Software Development Kit Debuts
Microsoft Kinect Fun Labs
Futuristic Immersive Cocoon Concept
Chris Milk and Google Create 3-D World
Being There (Virtually)
Insanely Detailed 3-D City Maps
Sharp 5D Miracle Tour Immersive Theatre
Georgia Tech Learning Science and Math in a Virtual World

For further information or comment contact: Robert J. Krawczyk

Copyright 2011 Robert J. Krawczyk All Rights Reserved