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When Worlds Collide - Interactions Between the Virtual and the Real



Sanford P. Ressler, Brian Antonishek, Quandou (. Wang, Afzal A. Godil, Keith A. Stouffer


This paper explores issues surrounding interaction with virtual (computer generated) objects which are interfaced to real world devices. In addition a virtual room corresponding to a real physical room has been created to allow collaborative meetings with those physically and virtually present. In particular we have created a set of VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) cameras, which interface to real computer controlled cameras in a smart room. A smart room contains cameras, microphones and possibly other devices to provide a rich interactive experience for the participants. Interacting with the virtual camera controls the real camera. A second interaction method is through a Java applet, which appears on a Web page as an image of the remote control for the camera. The VRML camera object can also function as a status display. When someone moves the camera in the real world via the real remote control, the position of the VRML camera updates to reflect the actual status.We have two methods of viewing the video from the camera. One method is a C program executing on the CPU with the camera which quickly updates the images that can be viewed on the web via a server-push HTML page. The second method is to stream the video through video streaming software (commercial off-the-shelf).The entire VRML view of the smart room with cameras is placed within the context of a multi-user VRML world. This world can be visited by whomever desires to participate in meetings, held in the physical smart room. Our intent is to create intuitive user interfaces to the cameras, and other facilities of the room. We allow people not physically able or willing to attend the physical meeting to participate virtually. People attending meetings remotely are represented as avatars.
Workshop on Language Technology, Interactions in Virtual Worlds


device control, user interfaces, virtual environments, VRML


Ressler, S. , Antonishek, B. , Wang, Q. , Godil, A. and Stouffer, K. (2001), When Worlds Collide - Interactions Between the Virtual and the Real, Workshop on Language Technology, Interactions in Virtual Worlds, [online], (Accessed June 18, 2024)


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Created February 1, 2001, Updated February 17, 2017