Team : i3d
Section: Scientific Foundations
Keywords : 3D interaction.
The importance of 3D interaction in virtual reality (see 3.1 for a description of virtual reality) coupled with the immaturity of the field, makes 3D interaction one of the most important open problems of virtual reality. In spite of its major importance, the human-application(one will speak about human-application interface instead of human-machine interface, as one would tell in 2D, because the objective is to make the machine transparent and to give the impression to the user to interact directly with the application) interface is currently far from providing the same level of satisfaction as other computer graphics sub-domains .
In computer graphics, the race toward realism engaged over the last twenty years has led to impressive results where the virtual world is sometimes not easily discernible from the real one. Who did not hesitate while seeing certain images of complex scenes, with most realistic illumination effects ? Most of us have one day doubted while seeing an image or a sequence of images which he/she did not know how to classify: real or virtual ? At the inverse, this feeling of doubt is unlikely as soon as there is interaction. Conversely, it is often a feeling of faintness or awkwardness which dominates. Indeed, the processes of interaction with the virtual worlds are still often very poor. A large majority of the systems is developed on 2D workstations. Even if using 3D configurations, the user interface is frequently inspired by 2D interfaces. The WIMP concept (Windows, Icons, Menu, and Pointing) is often used. As an example, operations as simple as navigation inside virtual 3D scenes, or the handling (displacement) of entities in a virtual 3D scene, are still open research problems. The relative poverty of the interaction with virtual worlds is even more poorly perceived because the real world, in which we live and which we are used to interacting with, is a very rich world. Any machine, with some complexity, (car, bicycle, television, telephone, musical instrument...) has its own mode of interaction adapted to the task to achieve.
On the other hand, some configurations and some recent approaches are very promising. These approaches are more specifically 3 dimensional or are proposing a better use of the various sensory channels.
In short, the current situation is as follows. One can identify:
a well identified need: increasingly demanding users and a growing number of applications.
a unsatisfactory situation: poor interfaces: primarily 2D, with a strong under-utilization of the human-application bandwidth.
strong potentialities: very promising configurations and approaches to study or to conceive.