Project Title : Human Computer Interaction: Visualization and Animation Groups
PI : Kriz , Ronald
Team : ET Data and Collaboration (Team C)

January 27, 1999

1. Significant results or events:

The VT-CAVE staff met with Glen Wheless and Cathy Lascara at ODU and we 
discussed how they, as representative PACI parnters, would want us to
package our CAVE Awarness Tool Kit.  From this discussion Kevin Curry
and Kent Swartz decided to create a generic console that will work with
Limbo. Our current working version made changes within Limbo which is
undesirable. Based on ODU's comments the new version will work as a
seperate API.

A new awarness feature was to support voice commands by voice recognition.
Hence, after we contacted researchers at EVL and NCSA, we took their advice
and created a new voice recognition system based on Dragon Naturally Speaking
which was interfaced with the CAVE Awarness Tool Kit using two different 
networked programs, written in C and Perl. The Perl progam parses voice input 
from Dragon Naturally Speaking and passes commands via a socket to a C 
subroutine which is integrated with Limbo.

This new collaborative software includes:

 A) a generic console operating as a device manager for specific collaborative
 devices needing information from Limbo's avatar database. This console
 will come with our devices pre-installed, but is implemented so that new
 devices can be added easily.

 B) our specific collaborative devices and features, including:

     1) 2D & 3D radar
     2) Participants' List
     3) Teleportation
     4) Shared views
     5) Tethering
     6) Support of Voice Command Recognition.

Results of our progress will be posted at

 Debby Hix from the HCI group at Virginia Tech is completing an HCI 
 evalution of the Crumbs CAVE application with the participation of
 Rachael Brady who visited the VT-CAVE for two days as part of the 
 evaluation: see

Other points of interest:  "VT-CAVE Cam"

2. Expected results, progress and/or events in the coming quarter:

At the End of the month of May we will have completed our CAVE Awarness
Tool Kit Console and will create a web page that will not only fully describe 
this tool kit but also explain how to set up an entire sound system and 
integrate the Awarness Tool Kit with Limbo and the sound system hardware
for future Virtual Environment (VE) users, who are aspiring to set up their
VE which will include a sound system and Limbo.

Our expectations here are to provide other PACI members with a step by step
procedure to get Limbo installed with a sound system and the Awarness Tool
Kit Console.

3. Any proposed changes to project plan:


4. Meetings attended last quarter:

  1. Supercomputing98, Participated in the "Explore Tele-Immersion" project.
  2. EduCOM98, Showcased the CAVE Simulator running Limbo with Awarenss Tools.

5. Alliance-related publications and presentations:

  1. "A Review of Tele-Immersive Applications in the CAVE Research Network"   
  Excepted for publication in the conference proceedings of VR99: Principle 
  Authors:   Jason Leigh, Andrew E.Johnson, Thomas, Thomas A. Defanti and Maxine   
  Brown and about thirty coauthors which include Kent Swartz, Kevin Curry and Ron 
  Kriz from Virginia Tech. Our section described CAVE Awarness Took Kit.

  2. "Usability Evaluation Techniques: A Novel Method for Assessing the Usability
  of an Immersive Medical Visualization VE," J.L. Gabbard, K. Swartz, K. Richey,
  and D. Hix, Published in VWSLM'99, San Francisco, CA, pp. 165-170, 1999.

  3. Submitted to the J. of Materials Education, "Integrating Simulation Research
  into Curriculum Modules on Mechanical Behavior of Materials: From the Atomistic
  to the Continuum", R.D. Kriz, D. Farkas, and R. Batra.

6. Alliance-related proposals and awards:

  1. Office of Naval Research NAVCIITI Proposal, $3M first year.
     CAVE part of grant, $300K (one year only), will include the CAVE   
     Awarness Tool Kit Console as a tactical feature for the Navy's
     Tactical VE Center.

  2. Virginia Department of Education, $70K, "Creation of a Distributed
     Virtual Environment at Five Virginia High Schools using the CAVE 
     Simulator, Limbo, and the CAVE Awarness Tool Kit."

  3. Virginia Governors School, SGI Equipment Grant, $12K, "Creation of a
     Distirubuted Virtual Environment at Three Virginia Governor Schools
     using the CAVE Simulator, Limbo, and the CAVE Awarness Tool Kit"

7. Prizes awarded to Alliance members:

                          END OF QSR Jan99