As usual with infant technologies, realizing the early dreams for virtual reality (VR) and harnessing it to real work has taken longer than the initial wild hype predicted.
Now, finally, it’s happening.
Although VR has crossed the high pass from “almost works” to “barely works,” many challenges remain both in the enabling technologies and in the systems engineering and human factors disciplines:
- Getting latency down to acceptable levels.
- Rendering massive models (> 1 M polygons) in real time.
- Choosing which display best fits each application: HMD, cave, bench, or panorama.
- Producing satisfactory haptic augmentation for VR illusions.
- Interacting most effectively with virtual worlds:
- Specifying travel
- Making model worlds efficiently:
- Modeling the existing world—image-based techniques look promising
- Modeling nonexisting worlds—through CAD byproducts or hard work
- Measuring the illusion of presence and its operational effectiveness