Checking the demo by MIME lab during the conference

By Asanka Abeykoon

About the Conference: - The conference was held this year March 19-23 at Suntec City Singapore. In addition to the IEEE VR main conference, Symposium on 3D user Interfaces and International Symposium on VR innovation .Researches from all over the world had participated in conference and there were researchers and projects which represent different disciplines. I attended the ACE conference with few other members of CUTE center. The reason for my attendance was to get familiar with novel technologies and researches which will be useful in MINDEF Project. Among the papers and demos presented, there were interesting full papers which are relevant to the DSTA projects. Those papers are described below:

Random Dot Markers [Hideaki Uchiyama - Keio University]

This paper presents a novel approach for detecting and tracking markers with randomly scattered dots for augmented reality applications which is very similar to AR toolkit. However comparing to traditional markers with square pattern, random dot demonstrated advantages for flexible marker design, robustness against occlusion and user interaction. I personally check the markers at the demonstration and due to the robustness and flexibility, these markers will be able to use in many application. Also the source is available for free.

Leveraging Change Blindness for Redirection in Virtual Environments [Evan A. Suma - USC Institute for Creative Technologies]

The idea is said change blindness redirection, a novel technique for allowing the user to walk through an immersive virtual environment that is considerably larger than the available physical workspace. This was an enhancement to “redirected walking” concept for which few papers were presented and a panel discussion was also held. It was presented that using fairly small area they make an illusion in virtual environment in such a way that user is operating in a larger area. They have also conducted user studies to Evaluate the effectiveness of the change blindness illusion when exploring a virtual environment that was an order of magnitude larger than the physical walking space. I noticed that the results that they have got from the user studies is quite interesting and I think this approach can be used to implement conference hall scenario in CBRE application of DSTA project

Shadow walking [David J. Zielinski – Duke University]

I think this project provides a good insight to extend the Age Invaders project. This project is basically focuses on foot shadow localizing on a specially designed surface. In case when viewed from below, a user’s feet cast shadows onto the floor screen of an under-floor projection system, such as a six sided CAVE. Tracking those shadows with a camera provides enough information for calculating a user’s ground-plane location, foot orientation, and footstep events. Presenter also mentioned that he will open the source so developers can use it in further developments.

A Virtual Reality System for the Simulation and Manipulation of Wireless Communication Networks [Tobias Rick - Virtual Reality Group JARA, RWTH-Aachen University]

I think this is a very interesting project and it is my favorite project I would say. The researchers has applied virtual reality to identify propagation behavior of radio waves which is a fundamental prerequisite for planning and optimizing mobile radio networks. As they mentioned, identifying these behaviors are time-consuming and expensive. They have applied automatic planning algorithms can explore a vast amount of network configurations to find good deployment schemes and they have combined the simulation of radio waves with an interactive exploration and modification of the propagation environment in a virtual reality prototype application. I think this idea can be used many town and country planning applications to do interactive and quick design and fast decision making under different circumstances.

Simulator X: A Scalable and Concurrent Architecture for Intelligent Realtime Interactive Systems [University of Bayreuth, Germany ]

I found this was an interesting talk and paper which presented a platform for software technology research in the area of intelligent Realtime Interactive Systems. Simulator X is targeted at Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and computer games. The current research architecture is based on the actor model to support fine grained concurrency and parallelism and it maximize cohesion software engineering principle. I noticed during the talk that this platform supports artificial intelligence and ontology based semantics where developers can program the applications easily. However I also noticed that they have not done a better testing on platform and I think once the platform is out this will be really useful for the community. The current architecture is implemented in Scala using the Java virtual machine.

AR Aided Implant Templating for Unilateral Fracture Reduction and Internal Fixation Surgery [ Shen Fangyang, State Key Lab of VR Tech and Systems Beihang University ]

This project was a really fascinating work done related to medical field using augmented reality and computer graphics techniques. This research proposes new techniques to assist preoperative implant templating of reconstruction plates (deformable metal plates) .Through this approach doctors can substantially improving the relevant surgical procedures. Traditional surgical procedures require intra-operative manual implant templating, which often leads to prolonged operations with unnecessary damage or hemorrhage. In case I think this is a good approach and I feel that the system can be extended to a more advance stage using state of art medical volume rendering techniques. However the researchers have applied the application in several surgeries and the results was very interesting.

In addition to above full papers I managed to visit all demonstrations and industrial demonstrations. I discussed more details with “Sensics” regarding the HMD that we bought from them recently with other few team members. I also visit some interesting industry demonstrations from 3DVIA and POINTGRAY.

During the conference I attend in few panel discussions including “New Directions in Redirection “and “Building a career in virtual reality”. The talks of Mark Billinghurst and Prof.Susumo Tachii during the panel discussion were really interesting and motivational.

Finally during the 5 days of the conference I was able to meet new people and discuss more details about researches and their projects. I was also able to get new ideas which related to DSTA project and some other projects of the lab. I think I got a good knowledge and a good experience from the conference and I had a great time there in IEEE VR 2011 Conference.