Quantifying the Benefits of Immersive Virtual Reality

Date: 
Tuesday, December 2, 2008 - 9:26am

UCSB COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT PRESENTS:
MONDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2008
3:30 – 4:30
Computer Science Conference Room, Harold Frank Hall Rm. 1132

HOST: TOBIAS HOLLERER

SPEAKER: Douglas Bowman
Professor, Computer Science
Virginia Tech

Title: Quantifying the Benefits of Immersive Virtual Reality

Abstract:

Immersive virtual reality (VR), typified by technologies such as
stereoscopic projected displays and 3D tracking systems, has been
available for many years, but there are only a few examples of
real-world applications of this technology, most of which are focused on
providing a realistic “experience” to the user so that he experiences a
sense of “presence.” We claim that immersive technologies can provide
other benefits, such as increased spatial understanding or reduced
information clutter. We are running a series of empirical studies to
demonstrate these benefits and to determine “how much immersion is
enough.” Our results so far indicate that higher levels of immersion do
lead to improved spatial understanding in complex visualizations, and
that greater immersion can produce more efficient interaction in
difficult task situations. We hope to extend these results using studies
in the UCSB AlloSphere.

Bio:

Doug A. Bowman is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Virginia
Tech, where he directs the 3D Interaction Research Group and is a member
of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction. He is a visiting
researcher at UCSB in the 2008-09 academic year. His research interests
include 3D user interfaces, interaction techniques for virtual
environments, the benefits of immersion in VR, and large high-resolution
displays. He is a co-author of the book “3D User Interfaces: Theory and
Practice,” and was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER grant
for his work on domain-specific 3D user interfaces. Bowman received his
MS and PhD in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology.