Computer Graphics World

July / August 2016

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72 cgw j u ly . a u g u s t 2 0 1 6 [CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7] high both in terms of what we can do with the technology as well as the finan- cial returns. At the same time, there is a substantial collective ignorance of what VR really is, what the choices of platforms are, what the components of a compelling user experience are and how that translates into a usable application, and what are safe and healthy system and application perfor- mance parameters. For me, VR means first user perspective, depth perception, motion parallax, interac- tivity, and immersion. Many technologies and applications are being marketed as VR when they are really not, causing confusion and frustration for users investing in them. For instance, some have not experienced VR systems that incorporate tracking, or stereoscopic displays, or environments that they can freely manipulate. So basically, they have never really experienced a true VR environment. A similar situation happens with the VR platforms. Today, VR is being almost exclu- sively associated with helmets or goggles as the display platform. But there are other platforms, like the CAVE, an immersive 3D dome, a surround-panel display, and others, all of which provide different user experiences. Sadly, many people from leading VR companies today do not know what a CAVE is and that VR is possible in platforms beyond helmets, until they visit my center in Arkansas. Another aspect that I find worrisome is the lack of understanding and lack of concern of many groups about how sensitive the human perceptual system is and how VR can have a strong impact on it – from discomfort, to severe motion sickness, to the inability to function aer a VR experience This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed in order for VR to be successful. Latency, poor stereoscopic calibration, frame rate, resolution, and other parameters have to be carefully balanced within tight constraints in order to have a healthy and safe experience. Just because we can access simple development platforms does not mean we are suddenly VR developers. There is much more to VR development than knowing how to drag and drop some cool 3D models and write a small set of JavaScript of C# to throw them into the display. There are many good, solid VR companies making amazing products and understanding what VR is, but there are also many others that don't. And it is those that can negatively impact the field while it is still in its early stages; its future, although bright, is still fragile. Indeed, VR is walking the thin line between success and decline. However, these issues can be resolved if the current VR community can take a moment away from the frenzy and learn and explore the tremendous body of work that exists from the first wave. There are many lessons learned, many well documented case stud- ies on what works and what does not work, many visionary statements of what makes compelling VR experiences, and what the unsolved challenges are, many of which are still unsolved today. Basically, it all boils down to "if you want to succeed in VR, do your homework and learn from those who came before you." If we all understand what VR is, learn from our successes and mistakes, and make smart in- vestments, I truly believe that the VR revolu- tion will be unstoppable and, like many other revolutions in history, will push human life into realms we can only imagine right now. ■ Dr. Carolina Cruz-Neira is the Donaghey Distinguished Professor in Information Sciences and the director of the Emerging Analytics Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and an Arkansas Research Alliance Scholar. She is the co-inventor of the CAVE and the architect of the CAVELib and VRJuggler, two of the first APIs for creating VR applications. She has conceived and built large-scale research centers focused on VR at several US universities. Dr. Cruz is also a business entrepreneur, having launched several companies and consulting businesses. [CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2] Cities Game, the ever-popular Emerging Technologies, and the booming VR Village. If you want to immerse yourself in the technol- ogy, this is the place to be. You will be able to observe and interact with apps, demos, and hands-on labs that showcase every- thing from mobile VR to haptic technologies, real-time game sequences, 3D printing, and immersive realities. I understand the VR Village will be back. Yes! VR Village is back, stronger than last year! Not to miss for sure! Why should a person attend? To learn, be inspired, experience, engage, and be part of the community! If you are interested in graphics, interactivity, enhanced realities, games, mobile, robot- ics, and all things tech, you've got to be at SIGGRAPH this July! Any suggestions for attendees to get the most out of the conference? Check out the SIGGRAPH 2016 website for the most updated information on this year's conference. Also, be on the lookout for the launch of the mobile app towards the end of June. Both the website and the app offer a variety of ways to find specific content: You can choose your areas of specific interest, or an area that you've always wanted to explore, and customize your SIGGRAPH 2016 experience. Don't forget that your best planning resource is the Advance Program! You can download detailed information on who's speaking and what's happening during the confer- ence week at advance-program. ■ Karen Moltenbrey, Editor-in-Chief July.August 2016, Volume 39, Issue 4: COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD (USPS 665-250) (ISSN-0271-4159) is published bi-monthly with special additional issues in January and July resulting in 8 issues per year by COP Communications, Inc. Corporate offices: 620 West Elk Avenue, Glendale, CA 91204, Tel: 818-291-1100; FAX: 818-291-1190; Web Address: info@ Periodicals Postage Paid at Glendale, CA, 91205 & additional mailing offices. COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD is distributed worldwide. Annual subscription prices are $72, USA; $98, Canada & Mexico; $150 International airfreight. To order subscriptions, call 847-559-7310. © 2016 CGW by COP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No material may be reprinted without permission. 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