3D Virtual Reality Environment Developed at UC San Diego Helps Scientists Innovate
Erik Larson | September 19, 2008 at 09:27 amby
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Coming soon to your living room; full immersion "virtual reality" extreme sports, action, romance, horror, scifi and shopping
The StarCAVE is a five-sided virtual reality (VR) room where scientific models and animations are projected in stereo on 360-degree screens surrounding the viewer, and onto the floor as well. It was constructed by the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). At less than $1 million, the StarCAVE immersive environment cost approximately the same as earlier VR systems, while offering much higher resolution and contrast.
“When you’re inside the StarCAVE the quality of the image is stunning,” said Thomas A. DeFanti, director of visualization at Calit2 and one of the pioneers of VR systems. “The StarCAVE supports 20/40 vision and the images are very high contrast, thanks to the room’s unique shape and special screens that allow viewers to use 3D polarizing glasses. You can fly over a strand of DNA and look in front, behind and below you, or navigate through the superstructure of a building to detect where damage from an earthquake may have occurred.”