Have you ever wanted to fly over the surface of Mars? How about taking a Sunday stroll through a human brain? This is actually a lot closer than you think. At the University of Illinois at Chicago, Computer scientist are developing a wraparound virtual world where someone wearing 3-D glasses can do all this and more.
In the system, currently known as CAVE2, an 8-foot-high screen encircles the viewer 320 degrees, while a panorama of images pop out from 72 stereoscopic liquid crystal display panels, giving a dizzying sense of be able to touch whats not really there.
Jason Leigh, co-inventor of the CAVE2 virtual reality system, has said, “In the next five years, we anticipate using the CAVE to look at really large-scale data to help scientists make sense of that information. CAVE’s are essentially fantastic lenses for bringing data into focus,”
The CAVE2 Virtual world could change the way doctors are taught and improve patient care. Pharmaceutical researchers could use CAVE2 to see how new drugs bind to proteins in the human body. Car designer could “Drive” their vehicle designs. The application possibilities are endless.
When I first saw this, my first thought was how you could emulate a time machine. How romantic would it be to take an evening and go see Romeo and Juliet at the Globe Theatre? With this technology, it would be totally possible in our near future.
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