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Appeared: Communications of the ACM (CACM) Vol. 40. No. 3., pp. 49-54, March, 1997

Summary: 1
Appeared: Communications of the ACM (CACM)
Vol. 40. No. 3., pp. 49-54, March, 1997
Virtual Objects in the Real World
Daniel G. Aliaga
Computer Science Department
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3175
Virtual Reality usually refers to systems that generate a totally synthetic environment. The
end-user is able to specify all the characteristics of the new environment. A head-mounted display
and an orientation and position tracker enable the user to roam around the new virtual world
looking up, down and walking into rooms that don't really exist! This capability allows the user to
experience environments which are not yet created (e.g., architectural walkthroughs) or position
himself in worlds he can never really visit (e.g., exploring a surface at an atomic level).
There are, however, situations where the user might want to remain in the real world and
instead of completely replacing the real world with a virtual world, might wish to merge the
virtual world with the real world. An Augmented Reality system (see figure 1) employs a see-
through head-mounted display and an image generation system to present the user with a world
consisting simultaneously of virtual and real objects. Such a system could allow an architect to
make actual-size modifications to an existing building, a home-owner to decorate an empty (real)


Source: Aliaga, Daniel G. - Department of Computer Sciences, Purdue University


Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences