Virtual Reality & Visual Analytics

The activity of the Virtual Reality Group in CeDInt is mainly focused on the development of virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, natural interaction and tracking, computer vision, and visual analysis applied to problem solving and technological challenges in areas such as: security, surveillance, smart environments and personalized automated assistance, surgery, legal and forensic medicine, architecture and landscaping, and visualization of complex data to support decision making (for instance Smart Cities).

The Virtual Reality area maintains four main research lines:

1.- VIRTUAL REALITY

The term Virtual Reality (VR) makes reference to any computer generated environment where it is possible to simulate physical presence of places in the real world and also imaginary worlds. The degree of presence inside the virtual environment depends of how immersed our senses are. To achieve this, VR makes use of real time stereoscopic graphics through different kind of display devices (HMD, StereoWall, CAVE, etc.), tracking systems to monitor one or multiple users and sensory haptic devices.

In the VR lab in CeDInt, our work has been focused mainly in the generation of realistic 3D content and applications to help the user get more involved with the content presented. We see VR as a key technology not only for the visualization and simulation of experiences but also as a great tool to help with real life problems. With this idea in mind, our VR projects have been aimed to detect and deal with these problems like the generation of a tool to reconstruct soft tissues or a monitor system for controlled environments to support decision taking.

Applications:

  • Design, modeling and visualization of objects and places of interest such as buildings, environments, products, etc.
  • Reconstruction and virtual visits to historical real places and heritage.
  • Complex data visualization and simulation of processes.
  • Formation and training of people in a collaborative way to accomplish complicated/dangerous procedures.
  • Scientific research in medicine by virtually reproducing real life conditions and study users reactions in a practical and controlled way.

 

2.- AUGMENTED REALITY

The goal of augmented reality is the integration of computer generated content over a live video or the user's environment in real time. It is quite literally the practice of enhancing what’s already around us. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not create a simulation of reality. Instead, it takes a real object or space as the foundation and adds contextual data to deepen a person’s understanding of the subject. The most often used example and one of the first commercial applications of AR technology was the yellow offside line in televised soccer games.

CeDInt works in augmented reality projects, pulling graphics out of your smartphone or computer display and trying to create experiences in which the user cannot tell the difference between the real world and the virtual augmentation of it. This technique provides a development framework for the study and research in a wide range of areas like entertainment, military training, engineering design, robotics, manufacturing and other industries.

Applications:

  • Tracking users in unknown environment, using algorithms from robotic engineering, for instance SLAM and PTAM.
  • Representation of contextual information superimposed according to the geometry of the environment.
  • Possibility for users to rebuild ruins, buildings, or even landscapes as they formerly existed.
  • Provide interactive content assisting the learning process. AR also permits learning via remote collaboration.
  • Decision-making support to help industrial designers experience a product's design and operation before completion.
  • Solve complex tasks such as assembly, maintenance, and surgery.
  • Visualize building projects before the physical building is constructed. Architecture sight-seeing can be enhanced with AR applications allowing users viewing a building's exterior to virtually see through its walls viewing it's interior objects and layout.

 

 3.- COMPUTER VISION

Computer Vision, also Image Understanding, is a part of Artificial Intelligence that allows a machine to recognize the structure and properties of the environment represented in an image in the same way a human does. It applies methods like image processing, pattern recognition, statistics and graph theory.

In the Virtual Reality lab in CeDInt, Computer Vision techniques are used to support Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality areas.  These techniques process the images captured by cameras providing necessary data to the final applications, i. e. object detection or scene objects depth estimation for interaction.

Among the Computer Vision techniques employed are:

  • Segmentation
  • Feature extraction
  • Stereo Matching
  • Facial recognition
  • Scenery Reconstruction

 

4.- INFORMATION VISUALIZATION AND VISUAL ANALYTICS

Problem solving for both academic and industrial researches is heavily related with a data analysis approach. In the data-boom era, this could sound really dramatic if researchers do not rely on proper tools and methodologies in order to facilitate their insight. For those reasons, Information Visualization and Visual Analytics have become a very active area of study in the recent years. The former aims at visually depicting abstract information into a more human-understandable way; the latter enforces human ability to reason about and understand complex and dynamic scenarios through perception mechanisms. The final goal of both of them is acquiring valuable knowledge from raw data by means of interactive visual metaphors.

Our group is currently interested in the following themes:

  • Geo-spatial data representation;
  • Timeline data analysis;
  • Understanding complex patterns in urban environments;
  • Supporting policy-making actors;
  • Supporting data mining experts;
  • Representation of data features into virtual / augmented reality environment;

Projects

VirtualMine

The main goal of the project VirtualMine is to increase the awareness among local community about the importance of raw materials and its possible use for better development of the European...

ReVirTool

Development of a tool based on Virtual Reality for the treatment of patients with alcohol-related disorders

 

INSIGHT

INSIGHT (Innovative Policy Modelling and Governance Tools for Sustainable Post-Crisis Urban Development) is a research project funded under the ICT Theme of the European Union's...

Mix-Tur

Developement of a virtual platform that communicates with event platforms, and the mobile applications that increase the user interaction within the live events, using...

3DDB

Development of a tracking system able to recreate three-dimensionally people movements in a room, to store them in a database for further study and visualization in the systems...

THOFU

Application of new technologies to the hotels of the future, in order them to be more comfortable for customers, and offer new services and ways of interaction.

IMMERSIVE TV

The purpose of this project is to research on the immersive digital contents production, and all the involved value chain (production, transmission and reception), developing...

evMIC

Creation of an interoperable platform aimed to support the creation of virtual environments for professional applications, focused on users, improving limitations of current...

IDS3D

Development of a integrated into a web portal aimed to identify and track a set of events and targets taking place or moving in a controlled environment.

CRÁNEO

Development of a software application to reconstruct individual faces starting from their skull in legal and forensic medicine.

VDS

Development of systems aimed to improve the usability of domotic gateways for general population and, particularly, for limited mobilitly people (disabled or elderly people)....

Publications and other relevant activities

On the influence of individual characteristics and personality traits on the user experience with multi-sensorial media: an experimental insight 02/2016
EXPERIENCIA DE USUARIO EN ENTORNOS 3D INMERSIVOS E INTERACTIVOS 12/2015
Evento satélite del congreso internacional NetSci 2015 06/2015
Iris Galloso nombrada Miembro substituto por España en el comité de gestión 01/2015
Novel Approaches to Immersive Media: From Enlarged Field-of-View to Multi-sensorial Experiences 01/2015
Introduction to data visualization 09/2014
Perception and visual cues 09/2014
Integration of multi-sensorial stimuli and multi-modal interaction in a hybrid 3DTV system.  09/2014
Desarrollo de un sistema de estimación de mapas de profundidad densos a partir de secuencias reales de vídeo 3D 05/2014
What (Smart) Data Visualizations Can Offer to Smart City Science 01/2014
Iris Galloso Miembro substituto por España en el comité de gestión 01/2014
A Perceptive Insight into Cities Patterns by Visualizing Urban Economies 01/2014
Evaluadora de la ANEP en la Convocatoria de Infraestructuras Científico-Tecnológicas 2012-2013 01/2014
Evento satélite del congreso europeo ECCS 2014 01/2014
Luca Piovano Miembro por España en el comité de gestión acción COST 02/2013
Experimental Prototype Merging Stereo Panoramic Video and Interactive 3D Content in a 5-sided CAVETM. (Conceptual Design and Preliminary Results) 10/2012
Tracking multiple humans in large environments: proposal for an indoor markerless tracking system. 01/2012
Unified 3D Application for Identification and Tracking in Controlled Environments 11/2011
Computerized Three-Dimmensional Craniofacial Reconstruction from Skulls Based on Landmarks 09/2011
IDT-3D: Identification and tracking in controlled environments using a 3D unified user interface 05/2011
A Web-Oriented Application for 3D Craniofacial Reconstruction in Forensic Medicine. 07/2010
Virtual Domotic Systems: a 3D Interaction Technique to Control Virtual Building Devices Using Residential Gateways 07/2010
Virtual Domotic systems: a New 3D Multi-User, Highly Immersive and Intiuitive Interface for Residential Gateways 01/2009

Portable VR System

The Portable VR System, allow us to take VR demos to congresses, exhibitions or to the customer site. Ir consists of:

3D PowerWall®

CeDInt counts on an advanced back proyection wall with capacity for 30 people and the following caracteristics:

Impresora 3D en color de polvo de resina modelo ZCORP 510.

Manufacturing system by layers.

Special high resolution Plaster (resin) with color binder.

Allows impressions of objects in color with resolutions of 330 dpi in all three axes.

Desktop 3D Laser scaner

For parts of medium and small size

For smaller objects 20 cm diameter 3D profile is obtained to within 1 micron

Scanner Laser 3D LDI Surveyor CS

Scanner Laser 3D LDI Surveyor CS

For large pieces.

You can scan objects larger than one meter in diameter with accuracy of less than 10 microns.

Digital Manufacturing Lab

Space of objects production that groups equipment and latest machines that allow promote creativity, minimize design cycles and improve the process of creating new products objects.

5-Sided Cave® (i-Space®)

CeDInt counts with an i-SPACE® infrastructure, a Cave Automated Virtual Environment of 5 rear projection screens arranged in CUBE (three walls, floor and ceiling) and

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Dr. Piovano, Luca
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Sepúlveda Carretero, Diego