VR technology opens doors to other worlds

Prof. Dr. Torsten Kuhlen has spent his working life creating and exploring other worlds. Anna Mitchell learns about reality-defying tools and why one CAVE is never enough.

The most advanced ideas often originate outside industry. Pushing the boundaries is much easier when they’re not hemmed in by strict ROI criteria and a quest for commercial gain. Which goes someway to explain why the largest Barco-powered, virtual reality CAVE to be built so far resides in a department at Aachen University in Germany.

The five sided active stereo CAVE boasts 4K resolution on each wall, employs 24 Barco NW12 Galaxy projectors and is soon to be crowned by what has been described as "the most advanced CAVE audio system". Each side measures 5.25m and the walls are 3.3m high.

This remarkable achievement is central to the work of Prof. Dr. Thorsten Kuhlen who heads up the Virtual Reality Group within Aachen University’s Center for Computing and Communication.

Professor Kuhlen has studied visualisation and virtual reality for many years striving to create the feeling of "presence", an experience he describes as "no longer being in the real world." In his efforts to create interactive, virtual worlds Professor Kuhlen has installed two Barco CAVEs (or I-Spaces to give them the manufacturer’s proprietary name) at the University of Aachen.

In this article Professor Khulen explains what inspired him to dedicate his work to visualistaion and virtual reality as well as what advances he has made in the field. He also reveals how close he came to not continuing his work at Aachen University.

Read the full story in InAVate Digital

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