Framework for Immersive Virtual Environments

FIVE - 9122

Work Area: Foundations of Visualisation and Multi-Modal Interfaces

Keywords virtual environments

Start Date: to be announced / Status: starting

[ participants / contact ]

Abstract An immersive virtual environment (IVE) system, popularly called virtual reality, provides a tightly coupled human-computer interface: input to the sensory organs of the human participant are directly generated through computer displays, in the visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic modalities. Movements of the human operator are tracked, relayed to the computer systems, and generated by the computer displays. The broad aim of the working group is knowledge-integration around the theme of a general framework for IVEs and their applications.


The broad aim of the working group is knowledge-integration around the theme of a general framework for IVEs and their applications. The aim is therefore to study a number of domains at the foundation. These include:


The Group's expertise includes visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic displays and corresponding knowledge of perception and psychology, neuro-science, computer science, parallel and concurrent systems, interactive computer graphics and virtual reality. Through the topic based and general workshops of the Group, the expertise of the partners with different specialities can be synthesised into a genuine scientific understanding and practical advancement of this field. The Group will have frequent problem based meetings of the entire project team to study specific issues. For example, the central problem of presence can benefit from the joint efforts of people in the range of disciplines represented in this project.


Virtual reality offers the promise of a wide variety of applications, ranging from walkthrough simulations, data visualisation, entertainment, design and training, including medicine; consequently these possibilities have generated a great deal of public interest. However, the promise, so far has been rather greater than genuine results, with the corresponding danger of eventual disillusionment. There are several difficult problems with virtual reality technology, including the lack of understanding of what is required to immerse people in the worlds created by these systems, and what happens when people are immersed in these worlds. Through developing such understanding, based on practical experience of the existing and projected research of the group, a new focus can emerge to lay the foundation for successful development and application of the technology within Europe.

Further information about FIVE is available from the FIVE home page <URL:>.


Queen Mary and Westfield College - UK
University of London
Computer Science
Mile End Road


Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - CH
University of Geneva - CH
Ruhr Universität Bochum - D
Scuola Superior S. Anna - I
Division - UK
University of Bristol - UK


Melvyn Slater
tel +44/71 975 5242
fax +44/71 975 5500

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FIVE - 9122, August 1994

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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook