Display Infrastructure for Virtual Environments

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Display systems suitable for virtual reality applications can prove useful for a variety of domains. The emergence of low-cost head-mounted displays reinvigorated the area of virtual reality significantly. However, there are still applications where full-scale CAVE-type display systems are better suited. Moreover, the cost of most CAVE-type display systems is typically rather high, thereby making it difficult to justify in a research setting.

This article aims at providing a design of less costly display technology combined with inexpensive input devices that implements a virtual environment paradigm suitable for such full-scale visualization and simulation tasks. The focus is on cost-effective display technology that does not break a researchers budget. The software framework utilizing these displays combines different visualization and graphics packages to create an easy-to-use software environment that can run readily on this display.

A user study was performed to evaluate the display technology and its usefulness for virtual reality tasks using an accepted measure: presence. It was found that the display technology is capable of delivering a virtual environment in which the user feels fully immersed