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Virtual Reality, Hasselt University i.c.w. imec

Humans perceive the world around them through their senses. Communication with computers of all kinds so far also happens through the senses, though projects aiming at a more thorough human-machine interfacing surpassing the senses are going on. In order to immerse human into a completely computer mediated environment, a virtual reality, computer scientists have been investigating ways to have a computer gain total control over the human senses since the 1960’s. Computers can also be used to overlay perception of the real environment with computer mediated information: an augmented reality. The widespread availability of computing, sensing and interaction devices (such as smart phones, motion trackers, cameras, head-mounted displays, the development of appropriate computer algorithms and data structures) in combination with many years of exploration of the creative opportunities created by the technology,  have made the practical realizations of these science-fiction like ideas quite common today.

The visual computing research team of Prof. Bekaert at the Expertise center for Digital Media is focusing, among other topics, on capturing the real world with camera systems that allow a freedom of navigation and compositing in post production, that today are only possible by means of synthetic 3D computer graphics. Video cameras allow to capture the world in full realism but offer only limited possibilities for changing scenery (like adding or deleting objects), lighting, object appearance and motion unlike synthetic 3D computer graphics. The team of professor Bekaert aims at bridging the gap between video and 3D synthetic CG, creating a new visual medium that combines the benefits of both worlds. That includes 360 degrees (omni-directional) and so called free-viewpoint video. The captured environment can be processed, distributed and displayed in various ways, including immersive multi-projection environments such as shown in the photograph.


Hasselt University, in samenwerking met iMinds, Expertisecentrum voor Digitale Media , visual computing
Wetenschapspark 2, 3590 Diepenbeek


+ 32 (0)11 268411
Philippe.Bekaert@uhasselt.be

 


 



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