Virtual Reality Research in Europe: Towards Structuring the European Research Area
Virtual Reality (VR) Technology has been one of the most promising technologies in the recent past, having shown great research investments and a rapid evolution. This technology combined with Augmented Reality (AR) technologies is already used – in a limited degree though – in several applications in the industrial, medical and educational sectors. Yet this utilization was rather impulsive and unorganized, lacking of long term vision rather depending on case-by-case scenarios (Amditis et al. 2007).
The INTUITION Network – a pan-European Network of Excellence formed by 60 partner organizations, such as Companies, Industries, Research Institutions and Universities that share an interest in Virtual Reality and a common vision of establishing Virtual Reality as the enabling technology of the future – has worked the previous three years towards facilitating the adoption of Virtual Environments (VEs) in industrial processes and assessing the impact of its “penetration” into the workplace and everyday life. In this scope the great need for structuring the European research area and for integration was detected; so far mainly custom-built applications are present, with only a small number of limited general applications reaching out to the masses of potential users across market sectors. INTUITION has collected and structured the first version of the vision and research needs that derive from the different user groups and technology sectors, which are active in the Network (Blach et al. 2006). As a result general and key priorities were identified, so as to take advantage of the inter-sectoral research and application opportunities.
KeywordsVirtual Reality Virtual Environment Augmented Reality Virtual Prototype Virtual Reality System
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