The CAVE Collaborative Console by
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This site was last updated on March 13, 2005

Important! If you downloaded CCC 3.2.3 after July 12, there were 2 missing files in the source code distribution. It does not affect the binaries. Now you can download the source code for CCC 3.2.3 again.

Current Version: 3.2.3
Older versions: Other programs based on the CCC:
At the Virginia Tech CAVE, we perceive a significant need to address fundamental human factors and usability issues encountered when working in Virtual Environments (VEs). Specifically we are focusing on user's primary needs when working with others across Tele-immersive (T-I) networks in collaborative VEs. This project is an extension of a research project in Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), CS5743, where we looked into issues beyond performance which includes the support of interaction, communication, and collaboration. A major component of Tele-immersive collaboration is awarness. This is especially true when participants collaborate in large-scale potentially crowded VEs. The ability to know where others are in a VE, what they are doing, and where their attention is focused is crucial to collaborative interaction. Consequently, a great deal of our effort has been directed toward supporting collaborative awareness.

Still, there are other issues that contribute to effective collaboration in T-I. For example technology advances have added to the list of various types of VE hardware systems and I/O devices users can afford. In order to promote VE collaboration we observed the need to connect high-end (expensive) but rare visualization systems, e.g. CAVEs, I-Desks, and Immersive Workbenches with less powerful but more widespread desktop computers running VE simulators.

Picture showing 2D-radar, Participant List and a remote participant.

Example of collaborative session. The 2D radar and the Participant List help in coordinating collaborative work, by showing name, relative position and distance of all remote collaborators.

Picture showing 3D radar, Participant List and object manipulation.

Another view, with an avatar flying on the background, working without gravity. The 3D radar shows the relative position of a remote collaborator in 3D space. The local user is manipulating an ethane molecule, by grabbing it with the "laser beam".

T he end result is the CAVE Collaborative Console, which continues to be developed. The CCC is written using Performer and is based on EVL's LIMBO virtual environment [Leigh, et. al.] The idea of the Console began from a need to not only address issues of awareness, but to somehow provide an interface that gave the user control over his or her tools. But true to the Object-Oriented Paradigm, the Console is evolving into something virtual and need not even exist, from a user perspective, in order to be used. The latest iterations of the design and software treat the Console as a communications manager between LIMBO and whatever devices the Console is managing. This approach has had the effect of freeing us, and hopefully others, from the unstable input problem. The new method is less invasive of the core LIMBO code and should give T-I applications developers the flexibility to choose their own input devices and to easily install their own collaborative support tools.

Current (v3.2.3) interface devices include: 2d Radar, 3d Radar and a Participant List. Functions include: load and unload models, tether, teleport, record and play movements, and see through other people's eyes.

CCC also can work in "simulator mode" in a SGI desktop,where the VR display is replaced by a desktop window, and voice command by a floating menubar.

This site is intended to assist Tele-Inmersive applications delevopers to easily reproduce and extend our results. By detailing our methods and providing the software devices found here, we hope to motivate continued efforts in this area.

CCC Authors:The original CCC (Ver 1.0) was created by Kevin Curry and Kent Swartz. Current version (3.2.3) of CCC was created by Fernando das Neves and Greg Edwards.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: We wish to acknowledge the following for their contributions to and support of this effort: Dr. Ronald Kriz, UVAG ("VT-CAVE") Director and PI on the NSF PACI grant that funded this research; John Kelso, Sr. Research Assoc., VT-CAVE; Dr. Jason Leigh, Sr. Scientist, EVL; Dr. Mary Beth Rosson, Dr. Deborah Hix, and Dr. Jack Carroll, VT. Dept. of Computer Science, and everyone on the CAVERNUS list who responded to our email. ; ^)

Our wives and families.

All pages Copyright Virginia Tech, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005

Pages written by Kevin Curry, Greg Edwards, Dr. Ronald Kriz and Fernando Das Neves