Extended Virtual Environment

1993 Karlsruhe, Germany

Software: Ralph Kondziella, Gideon May, Detlev Schwabe
Hardware: André Bernhardt, Ralph Gruber, Armin Steinke

EVE (Extended Virtual Environment) encompasses the conceptual and technical invention of a radically new form of interactive immersive visualization environment and virtual reality apparatus. In the center of a large inflatable dome two video projectors are mounted on a motorized pan/tilt device (a robot arm), which can move the projected image anywhere over the inside surface of the dome. The two video projectors present a stereo pair of images, and the viewers wearing polarizing spectacles see the projected imagery in 3-D.

One of the visitors to EVE wears a special hat with a spatial tracking device that identifies the position and angle of that person’s head. This controls the positioning of video projectors so that the projected image always follows the direction of the viewer’s gaze. In this way the viewer can control the movement of the picture frame over the entire dome surface and interactively explore the video- or computer-generated virtual scenographies that are presented there. An optional joystick would allow the viewer to also control his forwards and backwards movement in the surrounding virtual space.

In 1993 Shaw’s Virtual Museum (1991) was adapted for presentation within EVE. In 1995 at the ZKM MultiMediale 4, in Karlsruhe, Telepresent Onlookers directly linked the movement of the interior video projectors to a stereo pair of video cameras mounted on another pan/tilt device situated outside the dome. In 2002 the French artist Jean Michel Bruyère, invited by Shaw as an artist-in-residence at the ZKM, created Si Poteris Narrare, Licet for EVE. His implementation involved the creation of a 4000 x 4000 pixel fish-eye movie. In 2003 Shaw and the UNSW iCinema Research Centre created T_Visionarium I, based on a concept by Peter Weibel, for the EVE system.

EVE Works