Virtual Reality Technology / Edition 2

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Virtual reality is a very powerful and compelling computer application by which humans interact with computer-generated environments in a way that mimics real life and engages various senses. Although its most widely known application is in the entertainment industry, the real promise of virtual reality lies in such fields as medicine, engineering, oil exploration, and the military, to name just a few. Through virtual reality, scientists can triple the rate of oil discovery, pilots can dogfight numerically superior "bandits," and surgeons can improve their skills on virtual (rather than real) patients.

The new edition of Virtual Reality Technology is specifically designed for use as a textbook. Thus, it includes definitions, review questions, and a CD-ROM with video clips that reinforce the topics covered.

This is one of the first books to discuss Virtual Reality from an engineering point of view. It provides an exhaustive list of both present and future applications of VR and includes research from outside the U.S. Also contains an extensive bibliography and over 240 drawings, tables, and color photos.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“…one of the best books available on the subject…I would recommend this as a great reference book. The authors have done an excellent and remarkable revision and update…” (Computer Animations and Virtual Worlds, December 2005)

"This comprehensive textbook describes the history of virtual reality technology from its beginnings about forty years ago, through present and future uses." (Medical Reference Services Quarterly, Fall 2004)

"…a must-have book. A textbook of this caliber is a welcomed asset for researchers, universities, and others in the field." (Annals of Biomedical Engineering, April 2004)

"Listing in the "More to Explore" section of an article entitled "Virtual-Reality Therapy" (Scientific American, August 2004)

"Instructors…students…persons interested in knowing something about the current state of virtual reality, and practitioners, researchers, and business involved in VR, will all find this a must-have book. A textbook of this caliber is a welcomed asset..." (Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Issue 32:04)

“...a well written introductory book on the subject...a fascinating book on a subject that everyone in medical technology will be using more of in coming years...” (Biomedical Instrumentation & Technology, January/February 2004)

“...a second edition that builds on the success of the first...well written and ideal introduction to a student or researcher...Burdea and Coiffet have taken a strong book and made it even better...tailored to the needs of students and would make an outstanding textbook for an introduction to virtual reality course...a must have for any student or researcher seriously interested in virtual reality.” (Presence, Vol. 12, No. 6, December 2003)

"...provides an excellent overview of the field...a fine textbook.... I would recommend highly." (Real Time Graphics, August 2003)

"...excellent....a fine addition to the bookshelves of readers..." (CyberPsychology and Behavior, Vol. 6, No. 6)

"...this second edition was well overdue, but it has to be said that it has been worth the wait...a must-have book." (Assembly Automation, Vol 24(1), 2004)

This review of current virtual reality technology and its applications provides an analysis of the engineering, scientific, and functional aspects of virtual reality systems and the fundamentals of VR modeling and programming. It contains a list of present and future VR applications in diverse fields, including medicine, entertainment, manufacturing, robotics, and the military, as well as a list of VR companies and research labs. Includes eight pages of color plates, and black and white illustrations throughout. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471360896
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/20/2003
  • Edition description: Book with CD-ROM
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 6.99 (w) x 10.08 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

GRIGORE C. BURDEA is a professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and author of the book Force and Touch Feedback for Virtual Reality, also published by Wiley.

PHILIPPE COIFFET is a Director of Research at CNRS (French National Scientific Research Center) and Member of the National Academy of Technologies of France. He has authored twenty books on robotics and virtual reality, which have been translated into several languages.

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Table of Contents




1.1 The Three F s of Virtual Reality 3

1.2 A Short History of Early Virtual Reality 3

1.3 Early Commercial VR Technology 8

1.4 VR Becomes an Industry 10

1.5 The Five Classic Components of a VR System 12

1.6 Review Questions 13

References 14


2.1 Three-Dimensional Position Trackers 17

2.1.1 Tracker Performance Parameters 19

2.1.2 Mechanical Trackers 21

2.1.3 Magnetic Trackers 24

2.1.4 Ultrasonic Trackers 32

2.1.5 Optical Trackers 35

2.1.6 Hybrid Inertial Trackers 38

2.2 Navigation and Manipulation Interfaces 41

2.2.1 Tracker-Based Navigation Manipulation Interfaces 42

2.2.2 Trackballs 44

2.2.3 Three-Dimensional Probes 45

2.3 Gesture Interfaces 46

2.3.1 The Pinch Glove 48

2.3.2 The 5DT Data Glove 49

2.3.3 The Didjiglove 51

2.3.4 The CyberGlove 53

2.4 Conclusion 54

2.5 Review Questions 54

References 54


3.1 Graphics Displays 58

3.1.1 The Human Visual System 58

3.1.2 Personal Graphics Displays 60

3.1.3 Large-Volume Displays 70

3.2 Sound Displays 84

3.2.1 The Human Auditory System 84

3.2.2 The Convolvotron 88

3.2.3 Speaker-Based Three-Dimensional Sound 90

3.3 Haptic Feedback 92

3.3.1 The Human Haptic System 93

3.3.2 Tactile Feedback Interfaces 97

3.3.3 Force Feedback Interfaces 102

3.4 Conclusion 110

3.5 Review Questions 110

References 111


4.1 The Rendering Pipeline 117

4.1.1 The Graphics Rendering Pipeline 117

4.1.2 The Haptics Rendering Pipeline 125

4.2 PC Graphics Architecture 126

4.2.1 PC Graphics Accelerators 129

4.2.2 Graphics Benchmarks 133

4.3 Workstation-Based Architectures 135

4.3.1 The Sun Blade 1000 Architecture 136

4.3.2 The SGI Infinite Reality Architecture 137

4.4 Distributed VR Architectures 139

4.4.1 Multipipeline Synchronization 140

4.4.2 Colocated Rendering Pipelines 143

4.4.3 Distributed Virtual Environments 149

4.5 Conclusion 153

4.6 Review Questions 154

References 155


5.1 Geometric Modeling 158

5.1.1 Virtual Object Shape 158

5.1.2 Object Visual Appearance 164

5.2 Kinematics Modeling 172

5.2.1 Homogeneous Transformation Matrices 172

5.2.2 Object Position 172

5.2.3 Transformation Invariants 175

5.2.4 Object Hierarchies 176

5.2.5 Viewing the Three-Dimensional World 178

5.3 Physical Modeling 180

5.3.1 Collision Detection 180

5.3.2 Surface Deformation 183

5.3.3 Force Computation 184

5.3.4 Force Smoothing and Mapping 190

5.3.5 Haptic Texturing 192

5.4 Behavior Modeling 194

5.5 Model Management 197

5.5.1 Level-of-Detail Management 198

5.5.2 Cell Segmentation 202

5.6 Conclusion 205

5.7 Review Questions 206

References 206


6.1 Toolkits and Scene Graphs 210

6.2 World ToolKit 214

6.2.1 Model Geometry and Appearance 214

6.2.2 The WTK Scene Graph 215

6.2.3 Sensors and Action Functions 218

6.2.4 WTK Networking 220

6.3 Java 3D 221

6.3.1 Model Geometry and Appearance 222

6.3.2 Java 3D Scene Graph 223

6.3.3 Sensors and Behaviors 225

6.3.4 Java 3D Networking 227

6.3.5 WTK and Java 3D Performance Comparison 227

6.4 General Haptics Open Software Toolkit 231

6.4.1 GHOST Integration with the Graphics Pipeline 231

6.4.2 The GHOST Haptics Scene Graph 232

6.4.3 Collision Detection and Response 234

6.4.4 Graphics and PHANToM Calibration 234

6.5 PeopleShop 235

6.5.1 DI-Guy Geometry and Path 236

6.5.2 Sensors and Behaviors 237

6.5.3 PeopleShop Networking 238

6.6 Conclusion 239

6.7 Review Questions 239

References 240


7.1 Methodology and Terminology 244

7.1.1 Data Collection and Analysis 246

7.1.2 Usability Engineering Methodology 250

7.2 User Performance Studies 253

7.2.1 Testbed Evaluation of Universal VR Tasks 253

7.2.2 Influence of System Responsiveness on User Performance 256

7.2.3 Influence of Feedback Multimodality 260

7.3 VR Health and Safety Issues 266

7.3.1 Direct Effects of VR Simulations on Users 267

7.3.2 Cybersickness 269

7.3.3 Adaptation and Aftereffects 274

7.3.4 Guidelines for Proper VR Usage 276

7.4 VR and Society 277

7.4.1 Impact on Professional Life 278

7.4.2 Impact on Private Life 278

7.4.3 Impact on Public Life 279

7.5 Conclusion 280

7.6 Review Questions 280

References 282


8.1 Medical Applications of VR 287

8.1.1 Virtual Anatomy 287

8.1.2 Triage and Diagnostic 289

8.1.3 Surgery 296

8.1.4 Rehabilitation 304

8.2 Education, Arts, and Entertainment 314

8.2.1 VR in Education 314

8.2.2 VR and the Arts 319

8.2.3 Entertainment Applications of VR 324

8.3 Military VR Applications 328

8.3.1 Army Use of VR 328

8.3.2 VR Applications in the Navy 334

8.3.3 Air Force Use of VR 338

8.4 Conclusion 342

8.5 Review Questions 342

References 343


9.1 VR Applications in Manufacturing 349

9.1.1 Virtual Prototyping 350

9.1.2 Other VR Applications in Manufacturing 358

9.2 Applications of VR in Robotics 362

9.2.1 Robot Programming 363

9.2.2 Robot Teleoperation 365

9.3 Information Visualization 371

9.3.1 Oil Exploration and Well Management 374

9.3.2 Volumetric Data Visualization 376

9.4 Conclusion 382

9.5 Review Questions 382

References 383


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