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Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems III

Proceedings of the two conferences:
Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VII and The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality III


Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems III,
S. S. Fisher, M.T.Bolas, and J. O.Merritt Editors
Proc. SPIE 2653 (1996)

This volume of proceedings, Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems III - SPIE 2653, combines the presentations from the conference on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VII, and the complementary conference, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality III.

The conference on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VII continued for the seventh year in 1996 with its emphasis on new developments in the hardware and software technologies involved, as well as on applications that illustrate the user-interface issues and cost/benefit tradeoffs of stereoscopic 3D displays. In particular, this focus on human-machine interface research and applications requirements is intended to help guide future development and evaluation of 3D display technologies. For both real-world and computer-generated images, there is a need for display techniques that permit the user to perceive objects in their relative spatial locations and to move through the display space and manipulate objects easily and accurately. The objective of this conference was to permit practitioners and researchers from industry and academia to exchange current information on stereoscopic 3D display techniques and applications.

The conference commenced with a half-day session on Autostereoscopic Displays chaired by Andrew Woods. Papers in this session presented recent worldwide developments in the display of stereoscopic imagery that does not require special glasses or viewing technology encumbering the user.

Next, a special half-day session on Single-Lens Stereoscopy was organized and chaired by Program Committee Member, Michael Weissman, to highlight new developments in obtaining stereoscopic images from a single lens. After an in-depth overview of past developments in this area by Weissman and William Carter, 5 papers were presented on technology developments and associated applications ranging from medical to commercial television. In addition, an excellent stand-in paper was presented by Dr. Gary Greenberg of Edge Scientific on his work with "Multiple Oblique Illumination Method for Direct View 3D Microscopy."

The third session of the conference, chaired by David Drascic, focused on new developments in Telepresence and the closely related topic of Augmented Reality. Two papers described recent Telepresence systems developed in Europe and three papers discussed the use of Augmented Reality techniques to overlay computer-generated imagery onto stereoscopic video imagery for Telerobotics and Tele-diagnostic applications.

The fourth session on Stereoscopic Vision and Human Factors presented a wide range of papers describing the geometry and perceptual aspects of Stereoscopic Imaging and also results of recent studies analyzing the effectiveness of using stereoscopic displays. In addition, an excellent stereo slide-illustrated stand-in paper was presented by William Martens on " Stereographic Exploration of the Head-Related Transfer Function: Acoustics of the Inner Ear."

The final session on New Developments in Stereoscopic Display Technologies presented the latest innovations in the field. This year's presentations described progress in the area of unique interpolation software, field sequential display hardware, and other display systems for a wide range of applications.

As a new feature for this year's conference, a keynote speaker was invited to provide an overview of stereoscopic imaging. The presentation was given by Mr. Ray Zone on "The Deep Image - 3D in Art and Science". The well-received 45 minute presentation aptly covered the venerable history of Stereoscopy and was illustrated with hundreds of 3D slides on past and current work in the field.

As a continuing highlight of this conference, many of the presentations were augmented by actual stereoscopic image projections using polarized slide projectors and stereoscopic video projection technology provided by QD Technology, Inc.

Following the conference on Stereoscopic Displays and Applications VII was the associated conference, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality III, which specifically focused on the emerging medium of VR from a systems and application-specific point of view. In particular, the conference addressed the issue of how to build tools for Virtual Environments and how applications help shape those tools.

As graphics generation and presentation hardware decrease in price, the power of high-end simulation is beginning to be found in lower cost virtual and augmented reality systems. In order for these new 'personal simulators' to help virtual and augmented reality fulfill their promise, a number of often disparate technologies and disciplines must be tailored and integrated for specific visualization applications. The objective of this conference was to serve as a forum where advances and practical advice toward this end could be presented and discussed.

The conference was divided into two sessions highlighting 'Tools and Analysis' and 'Tools and Applications'. The strength and diversity of the presentations pointed out how dynamic and idiosyncratic these topics have become. Specifically, the Tools and Analysis session included two papers on the latest developments in low-cost , well designed HMD's from Canon and Virtual I/O, several papers on overall design and analysis of VR systems, and several papers on the importance of incorporating additional sensory information such as auditory and force-feedback displays in Virtual Environments. Likewise, the Tools and Applications papers described several unique applications of virtual environment technologies for real world tasks, as well as a paper on wearable computer systems with a head mounted display.

For the invited keynote presentation, Dr. Randy Pausch from the University of Virginia discussed "Lessons on Using VR as a New Medium" illustrated with excellent examples from his research lab and from recent efforts by Walt Disney's Imagineering group to develop a public VR installation based on Disney's animated feature film, "Aladdin". The conference closed with a panel discussion to elicit additional comments on Dr. Pausch's presentation on VR as a medium and to evaluate progress in the field after it's first 10 years. The majority of the panel agreed that developments were on track and that long-term potential of the medium was rapidly increasing.

A major highlight for this year was a combined half-day, hands-on demonstration session of new 3D and VR technologies and applications - many of which were described in papers given in the two conferences. Demonstrations included:

  • A time multiplexed color autostereoscopic display from Univ. of Cambridge and Infinity Multimedia.
  • A stereoscopic display based on spatio-temporal interpolation from Automated Medical Products Corp.
  • Stereo display technologies from 3DTV corp.
  • The Multiview 3D-LCD display from Philips Research Laboratories.
  • An autostereoscopic display based on holographic optical elements by Richmond Holographic Studios Ltd.
  • A 3D Audio system from Crystal River Engineering.
  • An interactive CDROM on the history of 3D by Ray Zone.
  • Stereoscopic Ultrasound Images from the University of Washington and displayed on a Virtual I/O headset.
  • A prototype wearable computer system from Apple Computer with a Virtual I/O head mounted display.
  • A single-lens stereoscopic camera from Visus, Inc.
  • A display of a stereoscopic book, "3D Museum", from Shogakukan Publishing of Japan based on stereo images made from HDTV graphics. Steroscopic slides from images in the book were also presented by Program Committee Member, Dr. Shojiro Nagata. A binocular vision test tool, "S-Scale" from Miki Optical Institute was also presented.
  • A stereoscopic camera image displayed on a PC computer screen developed by SOCS and Perspective Systems.
  • A Universal Electronic Stereoscopic Display from Stereographics Corp.
In addition, numerous stereoscopic videotapes and slides were presented in a separate screening room.

Overall, the Stereoscopic display conference had a greatly increased attendance as compared to past years, and many of the attendees remained to join the large audience for the Virtual Reality Conference. Both conferences would not have been as successful without the diligent efforts of conference cochairs, session chairs, authors, and those who provided equipment for the interactive demonstrations of 3D hardware throughout the sessions. The conference also owes its success to the many well-informed and interested participants who attended and initiated important discussions in these sessions. And finally, we would like to express our appreciation for the enthusiastic logistics support provided by SPIE and IS&T personnel, who helped set up special 3D audio/visual equipment including 3D slide projectors and silver screen for polarized projection.

Scott S. Fisher
Telepresence Research, Inc.
Portola Valley, California

John O. Merritt
Interactive Technologies
Williamsburg, Massachusetts

Mark T. Bolas
Fakespace, Inc.
Menlo Park, California

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Stereoscopic Displays and Applications conference

Maintained by:Andrew Woods
Revised: May 22, 1996.