Wireless sensor networks for interaction in virtual environments
Hero, Jayme (2004) Wireless sensor networks for interaction in virtual environments. Masters thesis, Iowa State University.
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Immersive virtual reality systems allow people to more realistically experience computer-generated environments. The interaction methods used in these environments affect the usefulness and feeling of immersion. User interaction with the environment requires sensors to detect what the user is doing. This information needs to be communicated to the virtual environment. The sensor and communication components used should be lightweight and not hinder the free movement of the user. A fully enclosed environment, such as the C6 at Iowa State University, precludes using a wired system. A wireless sensor network cannot interfere with existing wireless systems such as the trackers. Wireless sensor networks can be bought off the shelf and easily applied to many applications. The nodes tend to be small and low powered with limited processing and communication capabilities. Because of their small size, these wireless communication nodes can be attached to a user to create a custom input device. This thesis implemented a software infrastructure for a wireless sensor network system for interaction in virtual reality environments. The system is implemented using Mica2 Motes for the wireless sensor network and VRJuggler for VR applications. The system provides an easy method to add a variety of sensors. Each communications node collects data from several sensors. The nodes send the data to a computer running a virtual reality application. The application responds to the user based on the collected sensor data. The implementation and example applications are discussed along with the limitations of this approach.
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