Research Activities

The following is a brief description of some of the ongoing research projects currently being undertaken at the Centre:

  • Exposure Therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    The use of Virtual Reality as a tool for therapy has found many applications in treating phobias such as fear of flying or fear of heights. The University of Southern California (USC) Institute for Cr eative Technologies has developed a virtual environment for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD) diagnosed in veterans of the Iraq war. This system allows clinical psychologists to allow patients to experience combat scenarios in a low t hreat context, whereby exposure of the patient is carefully controlled. The Reading Visualisation Centre will be working with USC and also with Prof. Tony Brooks at the Sensorama Lab in Aalborg University Esbjerg, Denmark, to compare other display technol ogies. For More Information

  • Medical Visualization

    This work involves the visualization and interaction of medical data using virtual reality tools on various display systems including the CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) and desktops . Different modeling techniques, such as volumetric, isosurface, and polygonal, and how they can be used to build medical applications also form part of this work. The goal of this work is to examine how effective the CAVE is to the medical community and what modeling approach is more effective to build such applications. Part of the study will include a comparison between CAVE and desktop applications, and how such devices enhance usability, understanding, model manipulation, and data perception from a m edical points of view.

  • Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE)

    This project focus on multi-user interaction in a Collaborative Virtual Environment . Support is provided for various types of Virtual Reality (VR) systems, mainly concentrating on CAVEs, down to desktops. Particular attention is applied to designing network architecture that ensure reliable low latency connections in a highly scalable topology. This facilitates collaboration where graphically disburse users can jointly interact with common objec ts or tasks. To prove this architecture we are developing applications and application editors to demonstrate aspects in this field. Research in this area coupled with realistic applications will allow users to experience a VE as though they were really t here. Such uses could include team training in potentially hazardous unreproducible scenarios, marketing applications demonstrating consumer/environment interaction, group physiological assessment and social interaction/entertainment.

  • Integrating Force Feedback in VE

As Virtual Reality (VR) pushes the boundaries of the human computer interface new ways of interaction are emerging. The proposed research to be undertaken consists of refining the usage of different input devices with the ai m of providing feedback to users in a more intuitive and natural way. The motivation behind this research lies in the fact that though we perceive the real world through many different senses, current immersive Virtual Reality environments such as the CAV E generally provide users with only visual and audio stimulation. Because of such restriction imposed in the virtual environment users of the system will not have the desired realistic conditions to interact in. Hence by integrating haptic interfaces in a simulated virtual environment we hope to enhance the interaction by enabling users to touch and feel virtual objects.



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