Unencumbered Virtual Environments

Kenneth Russell, Thad Starner, and Alex Pentland

To be presented in 1995 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence Entertainment and AI/ALife Workshop

Compressed ASCII PostScript 2.24 Megabyte File

Bulky head-mounted displays, data gloves, and severely limited movement have become synonymous with virtual environments. In this paper we describe an interactive virtual environment (IVE) that uses only a large field of view screen and passive sensors, in this case a video camera and microphone. Special clothing and modifications to the environment are not necessary (i.e. chroma-key backdrops are not required). Such a system has many advantages: ease of access when entering and exiting the environment, more active participation, and social context. These attributes are demonstrated in SURVIVE, a multi-player gesture-driven adaption of id Software's game Doom.