Virtual reality (VR) represents a modern human-computer interface consisting of a three-dimensional (3D) environment generated by computer where the user can interact in different ways. VR can be applied in several applications domains such as medicine, education, entertainment, etc. In particular, interest is drawn to the application of VR in education since a student is able to interact and to be involved with a 3D environment, which simulates situations that are difficult or even impossible to be carried out in the traditional education process.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Multicast: Is a fast, reliable, and efficient transmission mode where information is transmitted once and it is received by multiple destinations.
Virtual Environment: A computer system which can represent the real world where the users can interact either through the use of standard input devices such as a keyboard and mouse, or through multimodal devices such as data gloves and mouse 3D.
Groupware: Systems that support groups of people engaged in a common task (or goal) and that provide an interface to a shared environment.
Collaborative Virtual Environments: A VE, which implements CSCW features to improve the human-human interaction, enabling the cooperation and the groupware.
Synchronization: Described by the transmission/presentation of different types of media simultaneously in a coordinated way according to temporal/logical relations in order to ensure the semantics of a multimedia document.
Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): It is conceived as an endeavour to understand the nature and characteristics of cooperative work with the objective of designing adequate computer-based technologies. Computer-supported activities incorporating communication, collaboration, and coordination among multiple individuals.
Virtual Reality: Advanced human-computer interface where is possible to create an artificial three-dimensional world in which the user can have the impression of being in that world. It is able to navigate through the world and manipulate objects on it.
Cooperation: Refers to the practice of people or greater entities working in common with commonly agreed upon goals and possibly methods, instead of working separately in competition.
Multimedia System: A system able to present in an integrated way different types of media, where at least one is continuous (e.g., video, audio, or animation). Among the functionalities of a multimedia system are: the capture, generation, stocking, recovering, processing, transmission, and presentation of multimedia information.
Quality of Service (QoS): An agreement between a multimedia application and the communication/presentation platform described by a set of quantitative and qualitative parameters such as delay, jitter (delay variation), bandwidth, packets loss, throughput, etc.