The Lakehead University Virtual Reality Environment (LUVRE), managed by the TSC, boasts the latest in state-of-the-art imaging and processing technology, truly establishing Lakehead as a leader in Virtual Reality instruction and research. A high performance graphical workstation drives the video display, rendering and complex computations.
Coupled with high refresh rate stereoscopic 3D DLP projectors and an 8ft x 31ft, 150 degree curved laser calibrated screen, these robust technologies result in a highly realistic and sophisticated interactive simulation environment that is useful for understanding spatial dynamics as well as relationships among objects, people and places.
The benefits of this system to industry, science, education and health care include the ability to visualize and interact with models and processes without a safety risk or financial impracticality as well as relinquishing the need to develop/acquire actual physical models.
What Is Stereo 3D?
Stereo 3D is the use of computer technology to recreate the way we naturally see depth‚ stereoscopically. Stereoscopic viewing describes how we use both eyes, each with a slightly different perspective, to perceive depth in a physical environment. When the left image is displayed, the left lens of the eyewear opens while the right lens closes‚ displaying the correct image to the correct eye. The result is a non-flickering, full-color, true stereo 3D image.
The LCD shutter glasses are activated by an infrared emitter that connects to the workstation. This infrared emitter synchronizes eyewear with the stereoscopic image allowing for any number of users to simultaneously use the LCD shutter glasses with complete freedom of movement.
Virtual Reality‚ A Unique Learning Tool
LUVRE offers faculty and students unique experiences that are consistent with successful instructional strategies: hands-on learning, group projects and discussions, simulations and concept visualization. Within the limits of system functionality, LUVRE can create anything imaginable and the student and instructor can become part of it. The virtual reality learning environment is experiential and intuitive; it is a shared information context that offers unique interactivity and can be configured for individual learning and performance styles.
LUVRE‚ Practical Applications
With the ability to perform highly realistic simulations of engineering, industrial planning, GIS/mapping, medical and molecular modelling, LUVRE is only limited by one‚ imagination. It is a valuable tool that empowers Lakehead University to engage local, national and international companies interested in the use of cost-saving VR techniques in businesses ranging from pulp paper production to health care research to mining operations.
The LUVRE System utilizes:
- 3 overhead BARCO DLP Stereoscopic projectors
- HP z800 Visualization workstation with NVidia QuadroPlex 2200 D2 VCS (provided by SHARCNET). Runs both Windows and Linux operating systems.
- Support for both Microsoft Windows and Linux software applications
- An 8ft x 31ft, 150 degree curved laser calibrated screen
- 48 pair of wireless, stereoscopic LCD shutter glasses used for Stereo 3D viewing
- Surround sound audio system
- 3D navigation mouse and a collection of wireless peripherals
- Two 3D equipped development and testing workstations where models and presentations can be created and tested prior to moving to the big screen.
- A collection of scientific visualization and animation software (eg. VMD, Arc/GIS, Poser, Blender, Stereoscopic player, StereoPhotoMaker, etc.)
- A 3D stereo digital camera (Fuji W1)