Roland Piquepaille's Technology Trends
How new technologies are modifying our way of life

jeudi 9 octobre 2003

The Iowa State University recently created a new program offering master and doctorate degrees in human-computer interaction (HCI).

So the group decided to throw a party and to hold an open house. During this open house, the group showed recent advances in human-computer interaction to faculty, staff and students from all fields. The Iowa State Daily has the story.

Audience members were given laser pointers and participated in a quiz by pointing the lasers at a large screen in front of the room. They were also treated to a game of Pong.
One of [the other technology demonstrations,] the teleoperating demonstration, was a cross between virtual reality and remote controlled vehicles. This development allows an operator to virtually operate a vehicle or robot without touching them.
[Jim Oliver, graduate program chair,] Oliver gave several examples of practical applications for this type of technology. It could be used in waste management to pick up hazardous waste without putting a real person in danger, he said.
Another demonstration was of Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality involves a pair of glasses with computer-type screens in them. People were able to see through these, but the glasses allowed wearers to see more than what the naked eye alone would see. For example, in construction, sensors would allow a bulldozer operator to see how far into the ground a stake has been placed.

Here is a photograph of a student viewing a virtual tornado during another demonstration (Image credit: Anne Tripicchio, Iowa State Daily).

Viewing a virtual tornado

For more information about this HCI program, you can read this description and check their facilities.

These facilities include an access to the Virtual Reality Applications Center, home of one of the only six-wall immersive environment in the world, the C6.

The C6 is a three-dimensional, full-immersion, synthetic environment. This facility consists of a 10 ft. x 10 ft. room where all four walls, the floor and the ceiling are projection screens that are capable of displaying back-projected stereoscopic images using a 1024x1024 pixel resolution per screen, thus providing total immersion of the participants. The C6 is the first known system of its kind to support wireless tracking.

Sources: Summer Mumford, Iowa State Daily, October 2, 2003; Iowa State University website

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