Case Study

Low cost VR system for Media Study, University at Buffalo

idesk at ICC museum, Tokyo

kid & idesk

Motivation for affordable VR
  • public access - although the CAVE was a collaboration between artists and scientists, currently there are 3-4 CAVEs in public spaces, open to the public daily, and showing art or cultural heritage content, including:
  • problems for museums and in entertainment industry
    • high cost of VR systems makes them rare
    • economies of through-put make it hard to keep VR experience interactive
  • possible ubiquity of useful & fascinating media
    • e.g. VR in schools - for several years the Quickworlds project at Abraham Lincoln Elemetary School, Oak Park has integrated an Idesk into its curriculum (project with EVL)
  • VR systems in cultural spaces, educational institutions, and entertainment world for purposes of:
    • experiencing applications
    • experimenting with a new art media
    • creating applications in any field that benefit from VR's strengths
  • my personal motivation
    • art and vr drama projects that I want to be able to show everywhere 
    • one on one experience with VR
UB system set up in Albany

UB system at Media Study


Possibility of affordable VR
  • UB system 
    • based on IDesk in terms of tracking system, and screen size
  • Two major developments promised to bring down costs
  • Passive rather than active stereo 
    • 2 projectors with polarizing filters
    • screen that does not depolarize light
    • cheap plastic/cardboard glasses
    • by late Spring of 2000, Greg Dawe at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago, had researched screen materials, filters and projectors, and done a series of experiments to prove this could be done
  • Using a PC
    • video games industry pressure -> produce fast video cards 
    • development of dual headed video cards - so one machine could put out 2 channels of video, one for the left and one for the right eye
Specifics of UB System >>