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Extending the desktop workplace by a portable virtual reality system

: Hoffmann, H.; Stefani, O.; Patel, H.


International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 64 (2006), No.3, pp.170-181
ISSN: 1071-5819
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Users are increasingly recognizing the potential of virtual reality (VR) technology for applications such as data analysis, design review, product development, production planning, marketing, training, etc. The currently established workflow is to design and construct at a desktop system with CAD or modeling software, and visualize and evaluate the results at one or more VR centers equipped with CAVEs or Powerwalls.
Discussions with users of VR installations have shown that there is a demand for smaller and more cost efficient VR installations. We have proposed the concept of a small VR system, PI-casso, based on user requirements, guidelines for office workplaces and some end-user tests which showed important limitations and the ergonomics problems of current VR installations. PI-casso is a compact, fully immersive VR system which complements the classic desktop workplace.
In this paper we describe a set of user requirements and the results of the design in forming end-user tests, in addition to the concept and the technical specifications of the newly developed system. The first prototype of PI-casso was demonstrated at HCII 2003, where specialists from the human factors/ergonomics and the VR communities used our system and provided suggestions for improvement. This expert feedback was used to develop the improved versions described in this paper.