Virtual Reality '91 -- brief report 
Author Message
 Virtual Reality '91 -- brief report

First of all, please note this is all IMHO, and has nothing to do with
Bellcore's opinion on anything. Certainly if Bellcore did have an opinion,
the MFJ would prevent it from expressing one, somehow....


I attended VR '91 in San Francisco this week. I found it to be not as
dreadful as I had feared, and not as useful as I had hoped.

To be perfectly honest, I feel I encountered more science in the
Exploratorium in half an hour, than I did at the conference in three
days. However, as I did not go to VR '91 with the expectation of
seeing real research papers along the lines of say AAAI, so this was not
much of a disappointment.

What was truly disappointing was the low quality of the demos. The Sense-8
demo wasn't very exciting; the worlds shown were rather lame-looking. Other
demos were mostly low-budget and low-refresh-rate. Straylight (cool name, huh?)
had a somewhat nicer-looking world (they claim photorealism), but their
refresh rate was around 2 hz, and so wasn't real impressive.

The Sun demo (a sparc-2/gt blasting in stereo at 54hz each image) was
actually probably the best technically, but it wasn't immersive, and was
not a real application, just a semi-canned demo.

Logitech, Ascension, etc. showed 6d devices, and they worked.

I of course couldn't attend more than one track at a time, so I may have
missed some good material. However, of the stuff I did see, there was
very little in the way of good papers. Some presentations were useful
and interesting, however, without demonstrating any new research -- for
example, the Battletech presentation was fun. The only two papers I saw
presented that had any real science in them were Margaret Minsky's
survey of tactile and haptic interfaces, and Durand Begault's
presentation on 3-D audio; these two might actually have been accepted at
an academic conference.

Theodore Holm Nelson was there, talking volubly and expansively about Xanadu,
which was great, and which will of course bring about the new Millenium
when it finally arrives.

To keep this short, I'll skip discussion of the rest of the conference, some
of which was certainly worthwhile. For a change, the tone of the conference
was somewhat restrained, with many of the speakers observing they were attending
a conference on an industry that didn't really exist yet. Some speakers
expressed a desire for restraint, particularly on the part of the media, in
discussing VR. As a final note, I'll repeat Jaron Lanier's factoid: VPL
as delivered around 600 fullscale VR systems, an amazing 50% of which have
gone to actual end-users, not to research groups.


         Bellcore -- Computer Graphics and Interactive Media
       "There is no memory with less satisfaction in it than the memory
            of some temptation we resisted." -- James Branch Cabell

Wed, 16 Mar 1994 01:05:59 GMT
 Virtual Reality '91 -- brief report

Is it possible to get a proceedings from this or a list of names and
papers so we can try to get them from the authors?


Fri, 18 Mar 1994 13:20:59 GMT
 Virtual Reality '91 -- brief report

I believe Meckler is coming out with proceedings in December -- you can contact
them (reading from my conference program) at 203 226 6967.


         Bellcore -- Computer Graphics and Interactive Media
             "Mundus Vult Decipi" -- James Branch Cabell

Sat, 19 Mar 1994 23:27:42 GMT
 [ 3 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. Kahaner Report on Japanese Artificial Reality Conference, July 91

2. Report on Cyberspace Conference 2, Santa Cruz, CA, Apr 91

3. Short report from Computer Graphics 91 (UK)

4. CHI '91 - Call for Student Volunteer Participation

5. SIGGRAPH '91 Workshops

6. CFP - Visualization'91


8. SIGGRAPH '91 Workshops Call for Participation

9. VR '91/SF: Monday morning

10. VR '91/SF: Monday afternoon

11. VR '91/SF: Tuesday: Lanier

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