Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Visual interfaces
Philippe Fuchs and Lionel Dominjon
Using the visual sense is almost always indispensable in virtual reality. It is very rare
to find a virtual reality device that does not use vision. There are some devices for
the blind, for example, to study their perception of space with the help of spatialised
audio sources. Virtual reality software makes it possible to create computer-generated
images of increasing quality. In terms of computer hardware, sufficient computing
power is available to create good quality three-dimensional images in real time. The
latest advances have been made in graphic cards, which currently help in real time
computing of images that come close to photo-like rendering, though some technical
hitches still remain to be overcome.
An ideal and universal interface must possess metrological characteristics that
correspond to the maximum capacities of the human visual system so as to use this
sensory channel effectively. We, however, have a very long way to go to reach this
goal. This sensory interface should thus offer four additional capacities than an ordi-
nary screen: large horizontal and vertical fields of vision corresponding to those of
our eyes, a stereoscopic vision in the entire binocular field of vision ,a high graphic
resolution using all the performances of monoscopic and stereoscopic acuities and
also an immersion of the eyes 1 in the virtual world. Achieving this is possible only
if the visual interface is connected to a sensor locating the orientation of the oper-
ator's head. The computer must obviously be sufficiently powerful to show him,
in real time,
left and right images of high resolution as per the direction of his
The presentation of visual interfaces in this chapter can be based on various
classifications, depending on which of the four capacities of an ideal interface men-
tioned above is considered more important. For the first two classes of interfaces,
we will take the interfaces that facilitate or do not facilitate immersion of eyes, i.e.
portable interfaces and fixed-support interfaces. The sub-categories depend on the
vision fields offered by the interfaces and then on the possibilities of stereoscopic
1 Immersion of eyes: The user always sees the virtual scene, even if he relocates or turns his head
(his eyes) in any direction.
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