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Simplifying Creation of VR/AR Applications for Domain Experts

Krzysztof Walczak

Department of Information Technology Poznan University of Economics, Poland

One of the main obstacles, which currently limits wider use of virtual and augmented reality applications on everyday basis is the difficulty associated with the creation of useful 3D content. Non-trivial, interactive 3D multimedia content is inherently difficult to create. Not only geometry and appearance of particular elements must be properly represented, but also temporal, structural, logical and behavioural aspects must be taken into account. Moreover, creation of useful content requires participation of domain experts in this process. For example, a virtual museum exhibition should be set up by a museum curator, while an augmented reality lesson should be designed by an experienced teacher.

In this presentation, a range of methods aiming at simplification of the creation of interactive 3D content by domain experts are discussed. These methods include:

content componentisation – which enables the content to be configured from predesigned – possibly parameterised – blocks (geometrical, logical or behavioural);

narrowing the application domain – which enables to increase the quality of the created content, but at the same time limits the generality of the solution;

narrowing content variability – which enables creating more complex content at the cost of limited possibilities of content customisation.

Content can be also created collaboratively by groups of authors resulting in smaller and more manageable tasks assigned to particular designers. Moreover, the whole content creation process can be divided into distinct phases, which can be performed by designers with different responsibilities, skills and tools.

A promising research direction aiming at simplification of 3D content creation is semantic content modelling. Semantic modelling enables creation of 3D content using domain-specific ontologies, which domain experts are familiar with. Creation of an interactive 3D scene consists then in building a semantic knowledge base using known domain-specific concepts. Such a knowledge base may be created using a variety of tools – from text-based semantic editors to semantically-enabled graphical 3D authoring packages.

Krzysztof Walczak received the M.Sc. degree in Electronics and Telecommunications in 1992 and in Computer Science in 1994, both from the Technical University of Poznan. He received the Ph.D. degree in Computer Science in 2001 from the Technical University of Gdansk. From 1992 to 1996 he was with the Franco-Polish School of New Information and Communication Technologies in Poznan. He spent over one year as an invited researcher at the Syracuse University, NY, USA. In 1996 he joined the Department of Information Technology at the Poznan University of Economics, where currently he is an associate professor. His current research interests include virtual reality systems, multimedia systems, distance learning and semantic web. He was acting as a technical coordinator in numerous research and industrial projects in these domains.He is a member of Executive Committee of EuroVR Association, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), Web3D Consortium and Board of Directors of VSMM (International Society on Virtual Systems and Multimedia).

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