Virtual Science at Reading
The University of Reading has a strong history of developing and researching virtual reality technology. Several groups across campus are using VR technology to assist team mediated interaction, assist physiother
apy, visualize scientific data sets and develop distributed collaborative environments.
Through a fusion of University, government and commercial funds, the Centre has established a high performance computing centre with a range of visualization methods from the ReaCTor a CAVE like system to Augmented Reality (AR). This facility immerses the users in an interactive virtual environment. A high feeling of presence is obtained by allowing users to actually walk within the environment, still seeing the
ir own body and the rest of the group. The primary research aim is to link the centre to heterogeneous systems around the world allowing multiple, geographically distinct, groups of users to cohabit the same virtual space. Applications already developed i
nclude: prototyping of "The Control Room of the Future" for the National Grid; and an interactive virtual department where students can gain information about courses by interacting with noticeboards and computers placed within a virtual model of the Depa
rtment of Computer Science. Future projects for the ReaCTor include tele - operateration simulations, collaborative engineering and virtual trade fairs.
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