Immersive 3-D Viz Comes to the University of Missouri
If you liked Avatar, you’ll love what they’re up to at the University of Missouri. Virtual reality has moved from the forests of Pandora to the college campus.
One of the problems facing architects and interior designers is visualizing what their efforts will look like when their designs for buildings or rooms are rendered in the real world.
To meet this challenge, MU’s architectural studies department has created an Immersive Visualization Lab (iLab). It is one of the few facilities in the country that allows undergraduate students to use immersive 3-D technology to develop and test their designs in settings that mimic real life.
Says Bimal Balakrishnan, assistant professor of architectural studies, “Most university immersion labs are reserved primarily for graduate students to use for research purposes. While the MU iLab will be used for research, it will also serve as an excellent teaching and experiential tool for undergraduate students.”
The immersive effect of the large high-definition project screens aligned side-by-side to create a continuous, horizontal viewing area gives the students the sensation of standing inside the buildings or rooms they are designing. Special active shutter glasses allow them to see their designs on the screen in 3D. They can even redesign their creations in virtual space. Collaboration capabilities are planned for the near future.