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Three Dimensional Windows for Virtual Reality Environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000109504D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-24
Document File: 4 page(s) / 196K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Appino, PA: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

The planar windows concept has been extremely successful in the current computing environment. However, as the typical computing environment moves towards three-dimensional (3-D) displays and virtual-reality, the conventional planar window concept is a limitation.

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Three Dimensional Windows for Virtual Reality Environment

       The planar windows concept has been extremely successful
in the current computing environment.  However, as the typical
computing environment moves towards three-dimensional (3-D) displays
and virtual-reality, the conventional planar window concept is a
limitation.

      This article reveals the concept of 3-D windows, or volumes,
and of two-dimensional environment "snapshots".  These concepts are
intended to extend the windows paradigm into the next generation of
computer interfaces.  The 3-D windows, which are miniature virtual
realities, are useful icons or summaries of complete virtual
realities.  They offer users a means of distinguishing between
virtual realties and selecting the desired one.  These 3-D windows
can also act as portals, allowing the user to travel between virtual
realities.  The two-dimensional (2-D) snapshot windows offer another
way to represent available virtual reality environments from within a
current environment.
Three-Dimensional Windows

      Two-dimensional (planar) windows have proven to be quite
valuable to users of conventional video display terminals.  When
stereoscopic goggles are used as display screens, the user is
immersed in a three-dimensional computer world called virtual
reality.  To improve useability in this additional dimension, the
concept of planar windows is improved to three-dimensional windows.
In Fig. 1, these 3-D windows 10, each of which is a miniature or
capsule virtual reality of a virtual reality, offer virtual reality
users a means of easily distinguishing between a plurality of virtual
realities.

      The 3-D window snapshots of available virtual realities would
allow the user to jump between several virtual realities, if
necessary.  They may be presented to the user in a tiled or side by
side fashion or a telescoping fashion, as shown in Figs. 1 and 2.

      These 3-D windows could also be a record of the previous "n"
virtual realities visited by the user.  This would enable the user to
take a trip back to a previous reality, if necessary.  This saves the
user from having to remember what those previous realities were,
especially if the user is trying to use prior experiences in the
present virtual reality 11.

      An extension of the 3-D window is where each facet or face of a
central 3-D cube 20 is a portal to an offshoot virtual reality 21.
As shown in Fig. 3, the central 3-D cube could be a communal or
common virtual reality shared by all users.  The offshoot virtual
realities could be restricted as private by the owning user or
selectively opened up to visitors as desired.
2-D Snapshot Windows

      In some environments, the presence of 3-D windows, as described
above, might be distracting.  In addition, the maintenance of several
full 3-D windows might tax the performance of the graphics system.
An alternative in these cases is the 2-D snapshot.  The user create...