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.
The University of Groningen Faculty of Science and Engineering has won the very first NNV Diversity Award. The Netherlands Physics Association (NNV) has established the award for physics institutions that best put into practice an open diversity policy...
Two promising UG academics, Dr Michael Lerch and Sanne van Dijk, will be able to conduct research at top institutes abroad for two years thanks to the Rubicon programme organized by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).
His opponent was fourfold world champion Alexander Schwarzman. Boomstra, who studies Physics at the University of Groningen, also won the title in 2016.