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The U.K.'s Advisory Group on Computer Graphics (AGOCG) commissioned the Advanced Interfaces Group at Manchester to conduct a survey into the state of the art in virtual reality in the U.K.. One of our goals was to identify how U.K. activities compare with international developments, and to see how they might be improved upon. At a more detailed level, we wished to find out who is working in which areas, to identify the scale of activities and to see what applications are being developed. We were also interested to discover what kinds of hardware and software are being used.

The survey was conducted by mail, electronic mail, and telephone, with notices placed in newsletters and distributed at conferences, and numerous followups. A total of around 350 groups and individuals were approached and asked to respond by completing a questionnaire (included in Appendix ). This effort achieved a total of 51 responses, which is rather better than the normal return of 10% for a survey of this kind. These responses form the basis of the information presented here. Based on preliminary analysis, visits were made to a small number of sites to interview people and to see first-hand the work in progress.

Whilst every effort was taken to make this survey as representative as possible of VR work currently being undertaken in the U.K., a number of companies, research groups and individuals, known to be working with VR, did not respond to repeated requests for information. The results presented should be viewed as representative of a large cross section of the U.K. community that feels able or willing to discuss its activities.

Subsequent sections of this report define and identify key aspects of virtual reality, present the questionnaire, identify the respondents, analyse the results, and draw conclusions. An edited summary of responses appears in Appendix .

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