The Vis Center conducts research in immersive environments with the ultimate goal that this system will be relatively inexpensive and easy to set up. Research in immersive environments works to virtually place the viewer in a space. At the Vis Center, the focus is on developing visual immersion over audio immersion. Researchers made an immersive cave system that is lower-cost and more mobile than other, more expensive cave systems. Currently, we have a three-projector system capable of wrapping a person in 180 degrees of video. Researchers can integrate audio into the system for 3D sound as well as transform our projectors to stereoscopic projectors to allow complete 3D sound and spatial rendering around the viewer. We also research haptic systems, which allows users to handle and manipulate virtual objects.
One application is the military. There are many functions of immersive environments in modern warfare. Commanders could virtually place themselves in a battlefield to control troops. An immersive environment is a valuable troop-training resource. Troops could safely train in a hostile environment to practice for deploying. Other applications include training, education, and museums.