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Romke van der Meulen - Prop-free 3D interaction with virtual environments in the CAVE using the Microsoft Kinect camera

29 August 2012

Immersive virtual environment (IVE) applications traditionally make use of a number of props to support user interaction. To create a prop-free IVE system that is suited to casual use, I combined the Microsoft Kinect, an optical 3D tracking input device that does not require reflective markers, with the CAVE output system. The resulting system supports interaction between the user and the VE without the use of input devices or props. Using this hardware, I created a number of prototype interfaces. This included two games, an interface to manipulate objects, and an interface for data exploration. I performed an informal evaluation of this prototype by asking 11 biology students to use the various interfaces on a number of different tasks. The participants were quick to learn how to use the interfaces, and were enthusiastic about their possibilities. The main drawback of the prototype was that it was prone to tracking errors that disrupted interaction. These errors may be corrected in the future by use of signal analysis and multiple Kinect devices. The prototype proved to be a successful demonstration of prop-free interaction, and could, once reliability is improved, be used in a range of applications, including data exploration and education.

Last modified:31 May 2018 4.05 p.m.

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