A new facility at UC Santa Cruz gives faculty and students the opportunity to create three-dimensional virtual environments that multiple users can interact with at the same time. Called the CAVE Lab, it opens up new possibilities for research and education, said Sri Kurniawan, associate professor of computational media and computer engineering.
The facility features a room-sized, advanced visualization system called a Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE). It combines high-resolution, stereoscopic projection and 3-D computer graphics to create a complete sense of presence in a virtual environment. The projections cover three walls and the floor, and the CAVE allows multiple users to become fully immersed in the same virtual environment at the same time. The CAVE Lab also features moveable walls that allow the environment to be reconfigured for different applications.
“This has applications for faculty in computing, game design, psychology, the arts, and a wide range of other fields. People have a lot of ideas for how they could use it,” Kurniawan said.