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BRIDGING REALITY AND VIRTUALITY WITH A GRASPABLE USER INTERFACE

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Models built and tested in a coupled Real-Virtual world environment

A radical new kind of learning environment coupling real equipment and virtual reality with simulation and multimedia enrichment has been developed under the EU-Education Multimedia Project BREVIE.

Digital Economy

Many industries rely upon simulation to support the design of new products. Modeling is a cost-effective way to study the characteristics or behavior of a system, yet a physical model is indispensable for the optimization of the process. Real and virtual worlds are coupled in an environment (BREVIE) that allows people to change between operations on real physical objects and their virtual counterparts through a Graspable User Interface. From this environment the product concept CLEAR (Constructive Learning using Artificial Reality) has evolved. A model is built using real components and virtual reality. The model, at any stage of the construction, is scanned into a computer, and analyzed using pattern recognition and image processing techniques, to produce two-dimensional schematic diagrams or full three-dimensional virtual reality objects. On these objects test runs and simulations can be performed on-screen, thus the process of building a model becomes an interactive one. Using real components provides the user with the feel and experience of the real world, while the use of 3D visualization and schematic representations create strong cognitive links between the real and abstract concepts required for learning. The unique feature of interchangeability between real and virtual object handling and manipulation constitutes the resulting construction kit, as especially suitable for vocational training in production automation. Useful links: IST 99 Helsinki http://www.cordis.lu/ist/99helsinki/training/brevie.html

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