Achieving Realism in 3D Interactive Systems: Technological Issues

Achieving Realism in 3D Interactive Systems: Technological Issues

Arman Gukasyan (3DreamTeam LLC, Russia), Nadezhda Ilyina (Vizerra, Russia), and Alexander Lavrov (3DreamTeam LLC, Russia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-808-7.ch011
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Web 2.0 has demonstrated how new technologies can change the structure of the customer-provider relationship. This is evident in the many new business opportunities that have arisen including the growth of 3D environments and virtual worlds. The development of more specialized services and consumer integration creates new marketplaces with new rules of the game. As these new opportunities come to the scene, they will change the face of the world into 3D environments and a multi-agent collaboration. The adoption of virtual worlds depends a great deal on the user experience. The challenges of providing the user with virtual realism is a challenge as many supporting technologies are still in the early development phase. This chapter will discuss several of the issues and tradeoffs involved in developing Real Virtual Worlds.
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A Little Bit Of History

We have already progressed through several technological evolution stages. Each stage of development of human-information relations has brought principal changes into the world. Let’s take a good look at these stages.

The first stage touched upon the information facilities. All the technologies at that time was aimed to bring the information as close as possible. The Internet allowed the delivery of the information directly to our eye, and search engines appeared to let us obtain the necessary information in the most effective way. At the same time multimedia and animation allowed us to acquire information in the most convenient way.

Tourism and Education have both benefited from this stage. They have allowed the creation of picturesque materials, websites and catalogues. This stage has widened the audience of all companies and resulted in the slight restructuring of activities connected with the information a company wanted to share.

The second stage of technology evolution was more about ways of communication. The unhurried e-mails and faxes yielded to forums, chats and twits. The social networks have increased the speed of distribution of information and made the information flows practically uncontrollable. This stage took much less time – a couple of years of social network implementation has brought to life the brand new way of communication. The information became not only picturesque but also personalized and user-generated. From this point on anyone is able to create their own content.

These changes allowed customers to be involved in the process of product development. It allowed them to get timely feedback from all the parties and made customers the active participants of the communication process.

Less obvious, but an important third stage of technology evolution created the opportunity for geo-referencing of the information. This change is a bit limited in usage, but for Tourism it opened a lot of new opportunities.

The fourth stage of technology evolution is the creation of 3D environments which can be updated via Internet. This is the stage are experiencing now; but we haven’t worked it out yet.

All these changes prepared us for the next – the fifth – stage, the revolutionary one. In this stage, information will not be transported to a user anymore, but a user will be placed inside the information space. The virtual worlds era is going to change the relationship between human and information by the creation of informational virtual environments. This will be the synergetic convergence of all the technologies we currently have – virtual 3D space, Web 2.0 communication means, geo-referenced information and projected Web 3.0 expertise. The virtual world will become a part of real life and the means of interaction with information. This is what is happening now.

Looking further into the future we can see that the Real Virtuality is coming, where all the five senses will be used for perception of virtual reality. Though it still sounds like science fiction, the equipment and technologies to make it possible are already under development.

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