Interactive Systems

Large Displays

V4-Space is the Vancouver Versatile Virtual Reality and Visual Analytics Wall & CAVE, built in 2016. It was funded through an NSERC Research Tools & Instruments grant, with W. Stuerzlinger as principal investigator, B. Riecke, R. Woodbury, and S. DiPaola. V4-Space consists of seven 85" high-end 4k displays in portrait mode, driven by a single Windows computer with two nVidia M5000's. The single contiguous 8m x 2m display shows 15k x 4k pixels at 60Hz, hardware-synchronized.

Large Display Interaction

One aspect of this research focussed on a new kind of laser-based pen input device for large displays that supports multiple simultaneously active users. Our multi-user laser pointer input technology provides a basis for collaborative, shared display groupware for computer supported cooperative work applications. The interactive system was called MULTI (Multi-user laser table interface) and consists of a table and several wall surfaces, enabling collaborative work by teams of 2-10 people with interdisciplinary backgrounds. Another part investigated the performance of various remote pointing devices, including mice.

Immersive Displays

In 2002 and together with others at the CVR at York, we created an immersive room, a six-sided CAVE, where every side (including the floor and the ceiling) displays computer generated imagery. Recent work in my group resulted in TIVS at SFU, a new temporary CAVE system that does not consume permanent floor space, while still taking less than 5 minutes to activate. The system cost is less than $10k, which makes this a very cheap, if not the cheapest CAVE installation.

3D Tracking

Following an object in 3D space is often referred to as tracking its 6 degrees of freedom (6 DOF). The Hedgehog is a new kind of 6 DOF tracking device, which uses laser diodes pointing outwards to project unique spots onto the walls. Cameras can track these spots, e.g., in a CAVE, such as IVY, and compute the pose of the tracking device in real-time. Putting the Hedgehog on the head of the user can then be used to, e.g., project the correct images for the current viewer pose. The Hedgehog matched commercial systems in terms of translations, but was ten times more accurate for rotations. We are working to improve this technology further to make it more generally useable.

Haptics

The sense of touch is often simulated only very crudely in many Virtual and Augmented Reality systems. Our research investigates new technologies for providing haptic feedback in such systems. Recent innovations include haptic feedback at the back of a smartphone, an interactive pen-based tablet that simulates a flexible surface or brush, and haptics guidance systems.