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Areas of Research

The following list identifies key areas of VR research and development. It is drawn from our studies of the VR literature and is presented here as a yardstick against which to judge U.K. activities.

Psychological aspects.
Factors which make for successful system use -- perceptual versus cognitive loads, representations, performance issues, acceptance studies (e.g., motion sickness etc.).

Interaction paradigms and techniques.
Addressing the difficulties of interacting in 3D. Issues such as navigation and orientation.

Hardware.
Performance issues -- display speed, tracking devices, problems of latency, input devices.

Algorithms.
Spatial management, culling and level of detail algorithms, collision detection.

Software architectures.
Toolkits, providing consistent interfaces, API, distributed and concurrent processing, cooperative working, systems for managing the virtual environment as a whole, maintaining synchronisation.

Applications.
How to exploit VR. Determining the contexts in which it is appropriate. Constructing specific application demonstrators.



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