Future Science: Using 3D Worlds to Visualize Data

University of Illinois-Chicago computer scientist Jason Leigh, co-inventor of the CAVE2 virtual reality system, poses with a pair of specially designed 3D glasses in the CAVE2 where the system's 72 stereoscopic liquid crystal display panels encircles the viewer 320 degrees.
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The original technology, introduced in the early 1990s, was called CAVE, which stood for Cave Automatic Virtual Environment and also cleverly referred to Plato's cave, the philosopher's analogy about shadows and reality. It was named by former lab co-directors Tom DeFanti and Dan Sandin.

The second generation of the CAVE, invented by Leigh and his collaborator Andy Johnson, has higher resolution. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy.

"It's fantastic to come to work. Every day is like getting to live a science fiction dream," Leigh said. "To do science in this kind of environment is absolutely amazing."

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AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/CarlaKJohnson.

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