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Perceptually Oriented Ego-Motion Simulation

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Creating a more realistic virtual reality

In order to be totally immersed in a virtual environment all senses must participate in the experience. With the POEMS demonstrator the notion of spatial presence simulation can be achieved.

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For most of the current virtual reality environments the experience is primarily visual. A user interacts with a computer simulated environment displayed on a screen. In order to create high fidelity virtual reality experience additional sensory information must be included. To achieve a convincing feeling of spatial presence or ego-motion, as is called in scientific terms was the objective of the POEMS project. The Perceptually oriented ego motion simulation (POEMS) will not only improve virtual reality interfaces but will also substantially aid in constructing highly functional real environments like public buildings. For example, in the planning stage of a hospital, railway station or airport, easy navigation through the building and use of its services are taken into consideration. At the annual international workshop on (tele)presence held in London in 2005, the culmination of the POEMS research was presented, namely a portable multi modal demonstrator. The demonstrator consists of a frame carrying the customary flat screen. Below the screen are two ventilators used for speed wind simulation. Headphone-based sound and a rubber-suspended base plate with two shakers attached complete the installation. This ego motion simulator is the essence of the POEMS project. All fundamental ideas perceived and all experiments performed in the course of this project are imprinted on this lean and perceptually oriented simulator. This simulator is so small that it can actually fit in a suitcase and is made out of low cost commercially available components. A wide range of companies in various industries will greatly benefit from such an elegant virtual reality system. Industrial engineers, media developers and research institutes are some of the potential system users.

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