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The Virtual Interface Environment Workstation (VIEW), 1990

Partnership with VPL Research, Inc. 

When virtual reality was still at the "ground floor" level, one of its basic components, 3D computer graphics was already in wide commercial use and expanding. By 1990,"virtual" exploration of artificial environments was being demonstrated routinely at NASA Ames and elsewhere. Since the mid-1980’s, Ames’ Aerospace Human Factors Research Division has been developing systems that permit human/computer interaction. The Virtual Interface Environment Workstation (VIEW) is a head-mounted stereoscopic display system in which the display may be an artificial computer-generated environment or a real environment relayed from remote video cameras. Operator can "step into" this environment and interact with it. The DataGlove has a series of fiber optic cables and sensors that detect any movement of the wearer's fingers and transmit the information to a host computer; a computer generated image of the hand will move exactly as the operator is moving his gloved hand. With appropriate software, the operator can use the glove to interact with the computer scene by grasping an object. The DataSuit is a sensor equipped full body garment that greatly increases the sphere of performance for virtual reality simulations by reporting to the computer the motions, bends, gestures and spatial orientation of the wearer. VPL created its own version, the eye display in NASA's helmet system, the EyePhone, a head-mounted stereo display. VPL has developed a line of software for virtual reality applications. The company offers a complete package, the RB2 Virtual Environment.

Page Last Updated: June 12th, 2014
Page Editor: Lois Rosson