Spherical Fish Tank VR

Lead: Sid Fels
series of VR spherical fish tank images

Spherical Fish Tank VR is an interactive spherical 3D display based on Fish Tank Virtual Reality that uses stereo and head-coupled virtual reality on high-resolution desktop displays. Our new class of FTVR display technology uses the spherical shape to create a contained virtual reality volume. It allows visualization and interaction with 360 degrees of visibility from all angles. The display system is auto-calibrated to support a seamlessly blended imagery. Coupled with head-tracking, the viewer can naturally visualize 3D scenes from arbitrary viewpoints. The approach has been extended to allow multiple co-located users to visualize and interact at the same time. We use high-speed projectors and active shutter glasses to provide a distinct view for each viewer. More viewers can also join the same virtual world using a variation of mixed reality with a tracked mobile smartphone.

Prototypes of spherical FTVR have been created and demonstrated in several conferences such as SIGCHI and Siggraph.

Spherical Fish Tank VR provides a new perspective to investigate human factors in the virtual environment. Our research investigates several challenging fields of VR including spatial perception, 3D interaction, telepresence, and 3D collaboration. We believe the spherical FTVR is a promising direction for various applications such as data visualization, 3D gaming, computer-aided design, and virtual surgery.

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