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Über dieses Buch

This comprehensive textbook offers a scientifically sound and at the same time practical introduction to Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR). Readers will gain the theoretical foundation needed to design, implement or enhance VR/AR systems, evaluate and improve user interfaces and applications using VR/AR methods, assess and enrich user experiences, and develop a deeper understanding of how to apply VR/AR techniques.

Whether utilizing the book for a principal course of study or reference reading, students of computer science, education, media, natural sciences, engineering and other subject areas can benefit from its in-depth content and vivid explanation. The modular structure allows selective sequencing of topics to the requirements of each teaching unit and provides an easy-to-use format from which to choose specific themes for individual self-study.

Instructors are provided with extensive materials for creating courses as well as a foundational text upon which to build their advanced topics. The book enables users from both research and industry to deal with the subject in detail so they can properly assess the extent and benefits of VR/AR deployment and determine required resources.

Technology enthusiasts and professionals can learn about the current status quo in the field of VR/AR and interested newcomers can gain insight into this fascinating world. Grounded on a solid scientific foundation, this textbook, addresses topics such as perceptual aspects of VR/AR, input and output devices including tracking, interactions in virtual worlds, real-time aspects of VR/AR systems and the authoring of VR/AR applications in addition to providing a broad collection of case studies.



Chapter 1. Introduction to Virtual and Augmented Reality

What is Virtual Reality (VR)? What is Augmented Reality (AR)? What is the purpose of VR/AR? What are the basic concepts? What are the hard- and software components of VR/AR systems? How has VR/AR developed historically? The first chapter examines these questions and provides an introduction to this textbook. This chapter is fundamental for the whole book. All subsequent chapters build on it and do not depend directly on one another. Therefore, these chapters can be worked through selectively and in a sequence that suits the individual interests and needs of the readers. Corresponding tips on how this book can be used efficiently by different target groups (students, teachers, users, technology enthusiasts) are provided at the end of the chapter, as well as a summary, questions for reviewing what has been learned, recommendations for further reading, and the references used in the chapter.
Ralf Doerner, Wolfgang Broll, Bernhard Jung, Paul Grimm, Martin Göbel, Rolf Kruse

Chapter 2. Perceptual Aspects of VR

Virtual Reality (VR) has the special ability to provide the user with the illusion of presence in a virtual world. This is one aspect of the valuable potential that VR possesses concerning the design and realization of human–machine interfaces. Whether and how successfully this potential is exploited is not only a technical problem. It is also based on processes of human perception to interpret the sensory stimuli presented by the virtual environment. This chapter deals with basic knowledge from the field of human information processing for a better understanding of the associated perceptual issues. Of particular interest in VR are the perception of space and the perception of movement, which will be dealt with specifically. Based on these fundamentals, typical VR phenomena and problems are discussed, such as double vision and cybersickness. Knowledge of human perception processes can be used to explain these phenomena and to derive solution strategies. Finally, this chapter shows how different limitations of human perception can be utilized to improve the quality and user experience during a VR session.
Ralf Doerner, Frank Steinicke

Chapter 3. Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds, the contents of VR environments, consist of 3D objects with dynamic behavior that react in real time to user input. After a brief overview of the creation process of virtual worlds, this chapter introduces a central data structure of many VR/AR applications, the scene graph, which allows us to structure virtual worlds in a hierarchical manner. Afterwards, different ways to represent 3D objects are presented and discussed in the context of interactive virtual worlds. Special attention is given to methods for optimizing 3D objects with respect to the real-time requirements of virtual worlds. Subsequently, an overview of basic methods for generating the dynamic behavior of 3D objects is given, such as animations, physics-based simulations and the support of user interactions with 3D objects. A section on sound, lighting and backgrounds describes elements of virtual worlds that are supported by common scene graph systems. The concluding section on special-purpose systems deals with 3D objects that are usually modeled with the help of custom methods and tools, such as virtual humans, particle systems, terrains and vegetation.
Bernhard Jung, Arnd Vitzthum

Chapter 4. VR/AR Input Devices and Tracking

How do Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems recognize the actions of users? How does a VR or AR system know where the user is? How can a system track objects in their movement? What are proven input devices for VR and AR that increase immersion in virtual or augmented worlds? What are the technical possibilities and limitations? Based on fundamentals, which explain terms like degrees of freedom, accuracy, repetition rates, latency and calibration, methods are considered that are used for continuous tracking or monitoring of objects. Frequently used input devices are presented and discussed. Finally, examples of special methods such as finger and eye tracking are discussed.
Paul Grimm, Wolfgang Broll, Rigo Herold, Johannes Hummel, Rolf Kruse

Chapter 5. VR/AR Output Devices

This chapter discusses output devices and technologies for Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). The goal of using output devices is to enable the user to dive into the virtual world or to perceive the augmented world. Devices for visual output play a crucial role here, they are of central importance for the use of VR and AR. First and foremost, Head-Mounted Displays (HMD) must be mentioned, the different types of which are discussed in detail here. However, VR also uses different forms of stationary displays, which are another major topic of this chapter. Finally, output devices for other senses are reviewed, namely acoustic and haptic outputs.
Wolfgang Broll, Paul Grimm, Rigo Herold, Dirk Reiners, Carolina Cruz-Neira

Chapter 6. Interaction in Virtual Worlds

In Chap. 1, VR and AR have already been introduced as innovative forms of human–computer interaction. This chapter deals in detail with the design and realization of interaction and the resulting user interface of a VR/AR system. A user interacts with a virtual world to select (selection) and change (manipulation) virtual objects and to control the position and viewing direction in the virtual environment (navigation). In addition, the user interacts with the system itself (system control) to perform functions outside the virtual environment on a meta-level (e.g., loading a new virtual world). These basic tasks of system control, selection, manipulation and navigation are each dealt with in a subsection. Solutions for the realization of corresponding interactions are presented. It is essential to achieve good usability. This is a core issue of human–computer interaction in general. Therefore, the basics of human–computer interaction are discussed at the beginning of the chapter. Moreover, a subsection considers special design processes that guide a developer in the design and realization of VR/AR interactions. An essential aspect here is the repeated validation of interactions with users in the form of user tests. Methods for the execution and evaluation of user tests are therefore dealt with separately in a subsection. Interactions with VR/AR systems always have effects on the user. The related ethical and legal aspects are discussed in the last subsection.
Ralf Doerner, Christian Geiger, Leif Oppermann, Volker Paelke, Steffi Beckhaus

Chapter 7. Real-Time Aspects of VR Systems

The term real-time refers to the ability of computer systems to deliver results reliably within a predictable – usually as short as possible – time span. Real-time capability is one of the most difficult requirements for VR systems: users expect a VR system to let them experience the effects of interactions without noticeable delays. This chapter deals with selected topics concerning the real-time capability of VR systems. In the first section, an overall view of VR systems shows which types of latencies occur between user input and system reaction. It also discusses how latencies of the sub-components of VR systems can be estimated or measured. The second section presents common methods for efficient collision detection, such as the use of bounding volumes, which are important in real-time simulation of dynamic virtual worlds. The third section deals with real-time aspects when rendering virtual worlds.
Mathias Buhr, Thies Pfeiffer, Dirk Reiners, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Bernhard Jung

Chapter 8. Augmented Reality

This chapter covers specific topics of Augmented Reality (AR). After an introduction to the basic components and a review of the different types of AR, the following sections explain the individual components in more detail, as far as they were not already part of previous chapters. This includes in particular the different manifestations of registration, since these are of central importance for an AR experience. Furthermore, special AR techniques and interaction types are introduced before discussing individual application areas of AR. Then, Diminished Reality (DR), the opposite of AR, is discussed, namely the removal of real content. Finally, Mediated Reality, which allows for altering reality in any form, including the combination of AR and DR, will be discussed.
Wolfgang Broll

Chapter 9. VR/AR Case Studies

This chapter is a collection of selected VR/AR case studies from academia and industry.
Ralf Doerner, Alexander Tesch, Axel Hildebrand, Stephan Leenders, Tobias Tropper, Wilhelm Wilke, Christian Winkler, Julian Hillig, Alec Pestov, James A. Walsh, Bruce H. Thomas, Gerhard Kimenkowski, Stephen Walton, Torsten W. Kuhlen, Geert Matthys, Holger Regenbrecht, Chris Heinrich, Xiumin Shang, Marcelo Kallmann, Benjamin Lok, Francisco A. Jimenez, Cheryl Wilson, Marc Erich Latoschik, Carolin Wienrich, Silke Grafe, Mario Botsch, Jonny Collins

Chapter 10. Authoring of VR/AR Applications

This chapter deals with the authoring of VR and AR applications. The focus here is on the use of authoring tools in the form of software development kits (SDKs) or game engines. First, the actual authoring process will be briefly discussed before selected authoring tools for VR and AR are reviewed. Subsequently, the authoring process and the use of the tools will be illustrated through typical case studies. The other chapters of this book deal with the fundamentals and methodologies of VR and AR. These are generally applicable over a longer period. In contrast to this, this chapter looks at some very specific authoring tools and the authoring process based on them, which can inevitably only represent a snapshot in time. Features, releases and availability of these tools can change at short notice, so that individual sections may no longer be up to date when this book is in press. To take this aspect into account, the case studies listed here are stored in an online repository, where they are regularly updated to reflect the latest versions of the authoring tools and runtime environments.
Wolfgang Broll, Florian Weidner, Tobias Schwandt, Kai Weber, Ralf Doerner

Chapter 11. Mathematical Foundations of VR/AR

In Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, mathematical methods offer fundamental principles to model three-dimensional space. This makes it possible to provide exact information and perform calculations, e.g., to determine distances or to describe the effects of transformations such as rotations or translations exactly. This chapter compiles the most important mathematical methods, especially from linear algebra, that are frequently used in VR and AR. For this purpose, the term vector space is defined and extended to a Euclidean space. Afterwards, some basics of analytic geometry are introduced, especially the mathematical description of lines and planes. Finally, changes of coordinate systems as well as affine transformations are discussed and their computation with matrices in homogeneous coordinates is explained.
Ralf Doerner


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