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July 5, 1990

DEC DONATES $1.4M TO HUMAN INTERFACE TECHNOLOGY LAB

By CBR Staff Writer

DEC has donated $1.4m to Washington state Technology Center’s Human Interface Technology Laboratory: the funds will be used to buy equipment to advance the research and development of virtual-worlds technology by developing an infrastructure capable of building virtual world prototypes that could be used for professional, industrial, educational and health-related applications; in a computer-generated virtual world, the computer user is enveloped in a realistic three-dimensional sense-surround, so that instead of just seeing images on a screen, the participant sees, hears and feels an apparently real world generated by the computer and experienced through stereoscopic spectacles and three-dimensional sound headset, operated using unique virtual tools; real-world applications include the capablity for engineers in different locations to collaborate to build a new airliner in virtual space, even testing it in a virtual wind tunnel; urban planners could examine a redevelopment scheme, seeing for themselves how traffic patterns might be affected from a driver’s point of view; and teachers and students could visit times and places that would otherwise be unreachable, such as the planets or Philadelphia Hall during the signing of the US Constitution.

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