Cave/Dive at Duke

I arrived in Durham, North Carolina, yesterday evening. I was already quite aware of some of the momentum, facilities, people and leadership present here, and I have been very impressed so far. I will report more later.

This morning I ventured into a six-sided CAVE for the first time. Something I should have done a long time ago, I guess, but it has not actually happened before. They have a very nice setup here and Rachael Brady is the key person who actually took time for me. Her vision has shaped much of the creation of the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment (DIVE). I got to see a few project and some student work. I liked the space and it seems like the activities here have a nice focus – which not least includes involving students and student creativity. I like that. They do work with the medical school, experimental perception work, and some work with the humanities and arts (about a third). I was happy to get to experience Bernard Frischer’s Colosseum Project in VR (I have seen it demonstrated in “2D” earlier).

Rachael and I talked about cost models, sustainability, volume rendering, the distinct quality of CAVEs, tracking and the scientific visualization community moving in a more illustrative/abstract direction. I also asked her about sensoring/tracking technology in relation to the planned expansion of HUMlab. One excellent suggestion was to get webcams and install them in the ceiling (thus covering a fair bit of space and providing a cheap and open-ended solution).