Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.

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:
    • Manipulation
    • Specifying travel
    • Wayfinding
  • 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

2 thoughts on “Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.

  1. shinichi Post author

    Perceptually, the greatest illusion breaker in 1994 systems was the latency between user motion and its representation to the visual system. Latencies routinely ran 250 to 500 ms. Flight simulator experience had shown latencies of greater than 50 ms to be perceptible. In my opinion, end-to-end system latency is still the most serious technical shortcoming of today’s VR systems.


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