We actually got a lot done this week. Our application is taking shape (though not enough of a shape to be worth sharing). I’m happy with the organizational structure of this data visualization and I’m glad that it has continued to pan out as an extensible and easily-separable workflow. On Wednesday we went outside and took lots of pictures. Here is my favorite:
On Thursday, we heard an interesting lecture about some VR research. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but we were all expecting a much higher portion of VR research at the VR Applications Center. Jon Kelly is looking into how our bodies perceive motion when they don’t move. He’s doing this by investigating where people think they are after moving and rotating in a virtual environment, and by changing the way that they move. When you physically walk and turn, you keep a very good mental map of where you are. When you teleport (or other types of VR locomotion), you tend to be worse at keeping track of where you are.
I’ve also personally noticed difficulty in maintaining that mental map when you introduce enough axes of motion into the environment. I enjoy a video game in which you have complete freedom of movement inside a cave-like environment without a defined up direction. This means that you can translate and rotate along/around any axis. In addition to the control difficulty (which my quadcoper flying days certainly helped with), it’s really easy to get disoriented when there aren’t lots of landmarks involved, and that’s without even teleporting. I asked some questions about that research topic (which has applications in space stations) and learned that it’s a rather unexplored field.
I left early on Friday to get down to Des Moines in time for a bus to Chicago for the next wedding I was invited to sing at. Thank you, Angelica, for providing transportation!