Reﬂections on the Design and Implementation of Virtual Environment Systems
Guest Editors: Anthony Steed, Dirk Reiners, and Marc Latoschik
Virtual environment technologies are now being used by a wide range of laboratories, industries, educational establishments and hobbyists around the world. With the burgeoning power of home consoles, personal computers and mobile devices, we are hardly limited by the power of our technology, but we remain limited in the expressive power and ease of use of our software. This is not for lack of software; there are dozens, perhaps hundreds of virtual environment systems in use today, ranging from Open Source tool kits maintained by the community through networked game engines, both hobbyist and commercial through to fully-ﬂedged « VR » systems with very broad support for devices. However, this range of software is also a potential achilles heel: there is a huge amount of functional replication in these software, subtle and not so subtle architectural differences which make porting a problem, and incompatible libraries that can not be exchanged.