At CyberArts '91 in Pasadena, CA, ENTER Corporation combined 3-D stereoscopic video with Mandala to form a new kind of virtual experience. Interactive 3-D cyberpunk science fiction, undersea and Native American pow wow experiences were co-developed with the Michigan State University Comm Tech Lab.
The live, chromakeyed participant (you) became part of a 3-D stereoscopic motion video background (the virtual world). "You" experienced a curious, compelling transformation which placed you inside 3-D photorealistic interactive space on the screen.
Unlike immersion VR where you know you are "there" because sounds and images in the virtual world respond like the real world to your head movements, in Mandala you know you are there because you see yourself as part of the scene.
At CyberArts, ENTER and MSU offered the chance to swim undersea and befriend unusual sea creatures, wander peacefully through a Japanese garden, or transform into Godzilla to terrorize downtown Tokyo while aliens from outer space try to stop you.
These experiences were experimental. They were the first time any such worlds had been created. The experiences were specifically designed as short term (1-2 minute) convention exhibit demonstrations. CyberArts provided an initial forum to test the technology and begin to refine our interactive design techniques on the basis of actual user reactions.
The data also serve as a highly preliminary opportunistic comparison. There were actually 3 different conditions across the 4 days of the conference. Comparisons are possible between 3-D and non 3-D video backgrounds, because the 3-D was not implemented on Day 1. In addition, comparisons are possible between YOU appearing as a luminance keyed one-color silhouette (on Days 1 and 2) and as a chromakeyed "real" YOU on Days 3 and 4.
What did it feel like to experience these 3-D interactive worlds? What were your reactions?
...It was very cool to interact.
...Neat, however real goggles would enhance experience
...Different but not very comprehendible
...Fun, but once you "get it," it's over
...Fun. But wanted more objects to interact with
...Not very strong
...Cool. I wish I could react more with video images
...A visual experience with movement, like a motion picture. I did not feel like I was in the water with the fish.
...A great idea but could be better
...I was totally involved in the experience and the idea of grabbing "nothing" never occurred to me.
...It was easier to get involved when there are many choices. It was fun to "learn" the system.
...It was interesting and a little frustrating as it is not clear how my movements effect the thing.
...Hardly VR, but fun.
...It was somewhat of a disconnected experience, like having an out of body experience. It was somewhat strange, but not unpleasant.
...To put it bluntly, kind of bland, not enough interaction.
...Not interactive enough.
...Good. But needs more isolation from "ambient" reality.
...Enjoyable. But I don't think I would want to repeat the same experience more than 2 or 3 times. In other words, I would rather rent than buy.
...A bit confused at first.
... Enjoyed visual environment, humor.
...Fun, enjoyment, curious.
...Amusement but lack of connection. There is potential not yet realized here.
...Not very realistic.
... Would like to try others first.
... Need a bigger database. More environment to play in . Should be more interactive. Climb through whale's blow hole, tickle octopus, I want to be able to "swim"
...Needs more work
...Engaging-- became caught up very soon.
...Pleasant. Sense of potential.
...Not to realistic, but very interesting.
...Good 3D video. Interactive localization needs to be implemented.
...Lag was evident. Haptic interface would make believable.
...Poor graphics; not as good interactivity as 2D Mandala
...Weird; not much
...not sophisticated enough for public. You guys need to learn more about TV chromakey effects.
...Would have liked more explore time. Reality would have been enhanced by having environment respond to my motions.
...Interesting. Make us 3Dimensional through. Good beginning. Take it all the way.
...Odd, a little confusing, not much interactivity
...Fascinating. Fun to crush humans as Godzilla-- wanted more interaction with objects like the octopus undersea.
What kind of virtual worlds would you like to experience?
...How about a race car?
...Cave; another planet
...Underwater; space; race car; inside human body
...'30s Los Angeles
...Travel to world monuments, e.g. pyramids, travel to wondrous cities, archaeological sites, e.g., city, Paris, archeological sites, Indian caves, New Mexico, etc. etc.
...Outerspace; microbiology; flight simulator
...There should be endless possibilities with this interactive stuff. Video games galore-- but on a more profound level. A journey inside the human body. The atom. Transcontent states of consciousness.
...Star Trek; Alaska
...Inside cells, atoms
... more action on interactive adventure is what I would enjoy.
...Creativity imaging; inner child imaging.
...Inner worlds; baby, animal, etc.
... Outer space.
...Performances; Other worldly
... Mountain hikes.
... Dangerous, exciting that I would not do otherwise, such as parachuting, climbing Mt. Everest.
... H20; flying
... inside a person's head,/brain during wakeful hours, sleep, dreams, flying, diving, roller coaster and so forth.
...The kind we'll have in 15 years (if we don't self destruct)
...Space, roller coaster
...Flight; outer space
...Inside a car engine; onStage
..."make it good and they will come."
...Cybersex; Neuromancer tips.
...Vaso-neural systems w/lympho endocrine overlay
...ancient cultures, faraway places, abstract 3D paint/sculpture land, interactive music land.
...Future, high-tech world. Past settings. Other planets.
...Universe; other planets
...Fantasy, weightless, change of environment-- thick, misty, where can control environment also-- make rain, bring in mist, lightening.
...science fiction; other cultures; adventure
...Outer space; Livingroom of different personalities
What would you change about the world(s) you experienced?
...Give the octopus more friends
...More truly interactive -- this experience makes you want more sophisticated and complex interactions.
... Nothing-- just wanted to "be there."
...Add tactile feedback
...Better graphics for interactive features
...Better, photograph-like graphics; more choices
..Sorry, I honestly don't know.
...More interactive environment, responds to actions.
...Make it more interactive. It seemed there wasn't much to do in the interactive environment.
...More 3D, more stuff.
...More realistic; knowing what my participation would be ahead of time. Goggles; Better sound track (3D sound, well produced.)
... Actually incorporate being into structure so that person is in a totally different reality.
...More things that change when I touch them.
...Needs sound in the headset.
...More possibilities, other than just catching 3 octopuses.
...Have more things you can touch.
...Cartoons and photo images seemed separate. Maybe integrate more completely or keep separate. More sense of my own (camera)'s movement within environment.
...A more varied choice of colors for objects.
... Realism of projected self
...More obvious feedback
...OK for now.
...Needs more movement/motion.
...being able to grab and move
...They should be more interactive with my actions.
...Actual photographs of live objects, not animation.
...More near images.
... A greater coupling between video and computer graphics-- increase interactivity.
...Make fish reactive. Make Tokyo better
...Better graphics; more interactivity
...Don't limit sound to 1 Meg. Don't limit images to what can fit in RAM.
...increase scan rate to beyond seizure level
...Would like reactions from elements in environment. Would like to be "centered" in environment, so that some objects were in forefront.
...Swimming non-interactive fish better response/animation from octopus
...Make the fish swim in front. More interaction with world.
...Wanted to know what was triggering what so I could make conscious decisions (Japan garden)
...Better TV effects, more interaction
...Being able to grab fish
Write-In reactions were generally very positive. People have an overwhelming desire to interact, and to know when and how they are affecting the objects and environments. There is also a strong desire to be able be part of and interact with video images as well as graphics (bring on the Holodeck...)
How real did the overall experience feel?
x=4.4 (1=VERY MUCH 7=NOT AT ALL)
To what extent did you feel like you had entered a different
x=4.4 (1=VERY MUCH 7=NOT AT ALL)
Which self was the real you, the being on the screen or the one
the camera was pointing at?
29%-BEING ON SCREEN 26%-BEING CAMERA POINTED AT
To what extent did you feel a physical response when your screen self touched other objects? x=4.8 (1=VERY MUCH 7=NOT AT ALL)
How much of an emotional response did you feel when your screen
self touched other objects?
x=4.1 (1=VERY MUCH 7=NOT AT ALL)
How real did the 3-D feel?
x=3.9 (1=VERY REAL 7=NOT REAL AT ALL)
Would you prefer to experience yourself in the 3-D world by
wearing glasses and looking at a screen like you did today, or by
wearing goggles that fill your vision with what's on the screen, no
matter which direction you look?
13%-GLASSES 84%-GOGGLES 4%-NEITHER
How similar was the experience to watching television?
x=4.9 (1=VERY MUCH 7=NOT AT ALL)
How similar was the experience to playing computer games?
x=3.8 (1=VERY MUCH 7=NOT AT ALL)
How similar was the experience to the Holodeck on Star Trek?
x=4.8 (1=VERY MUCH 7=NOT AT ALL)
About how many HOURS PER DAY do you watch TV?
About how many HOURS PER DAY do you use a computer?
About how many HOURS PER DAY do read books, magazines and
Do you own:
a videodisc player: ..... 25%
a video camera: .......... 36%
a large screen TV: .......39%
a computer: ................ 83%
For each of the following types of virtual experience, please rate
how much you think you would enjoy a well produced experience, with
10 = VERY ENJOYABLE and 0=NOT ENJOYABLE AT ALL.
7.6 interactive star trek episode
3.9 aerobic or other exercise experience
7.5 adventure game
7.3 science "infotainment"
7.0 cultural "infotainment"
6.6 participatory drama
5.0 interactive sports
5.3 interactive "MTV" video
7.7 science fiction story
7.9 interactive art
8.5 multiplayer experiences (more than just YOU)
8.3 interactive live events
For each of the experiences listed below, please indicate whether you experienced it, watched others experience it, or have not seen it at all. Also, for those you have experienced or watched, please rate your enjoyment of the experience, with 10 = VERY ENJOYABLE and 0=NOT ENJOYABLE AT ALL.
Japanese Garden Rating:
Undersea Adventure Rating:
How old are you?
How much education have you completed?
21%-COLLEGE 60%-SOME COLLEGE 17%-HIGH SCHOOL 2%-SOME HIGH SCHOOL OR LESS
What is your approximate annual personal income?
7%-LESS THAN $5000 13%-$5000 to $14,999
18%-$15,000 to $29,999 40%-$30,000 to $59,999
13%-$60,000 to $99,999 8%-MORE THAN $100,000