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Understanding Virtual Reality: Interface, Application, and Design (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Computer Graphics) Hardcover – 10 Sep 2002

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"Understanding Virtual Reality is truly the most complete reference book to emerge from the VR field in the past ten years."
―Tom DeFanti, Professor University of Illinois at Chicago, Co-Inventor of the CAVE (R)

"Understanding Virtual Reality is the introduction to the medium of VR that we have all been desiring for our beginning courses."
―Michael Zyda, Director, The MOVES Institute

"A comprehensive overview of virtual reality technologies and techniques. Using real-world examples from diverse fields, the book makes a case for VR as an increasingly effective and applicable communications medium. With its broad scope, straightforward style and companion instructional Web site, this book would make an excellent introductory text for students exploring virtual reality applications." - Design Issues

About the Author

William R. Sherman is Interim Director of the Environmental Modeling and Visualization Lab at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. Previously he lead the virtual reality effort at the National Center for Super- computing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has authored several book chapters and papers on the topics of scientific visualization and virtual reality and has taught a graduate-level course on VR at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom DeFanti's review 7 Mar. 2004
By Thomas DeFanti - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Understanding Virtual Reality" is the definitive, authoritative, and exhausive exploration of the field by two insiders and practioners, Sherman and Craig. Virtual reality, a uniquely viewer-centric, large field-of-view, dynamic display technology has evolved over the past decade in many physical formats, driven by many software applications using a variety of operating systems, computers, and specialized libraries. Sherman and Craig capture them all in this substantial volume.
Most writing about virtual reality involves summarizing and interpreting interviews and demos, with massive doses of the speculative and the spectacular, and lots of historical fuzziness. Sherman and Craig, however, lived in the world of actual VR production at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where corporate researchers, educators, scientists, and artists make use of this technology in their daily work. They have personally suffered with VR tech and benefited greatly from access to it as well as to amazing amounts of computing, engineering, and scientific talent. They were held to real deadlines of corporate contracts, scientific conference demonstrations, and the design of IMAX productions. While they were doing all this, they were also writing this book. As a result, "Understanding Virtual Reality" has the integrity and feel of a long-term, eyewitness account and a personal journal, because these production-oriented researchers were documenting the times contemporaneously, rather than trying to reconstruct the details years later.
I know all this because I was their group leader for a couple of years in the mid-90's at NCSA, and their colleague in VR the years before and after. I co-invented the CAVE hardware, among other things, with Dan Sandin at the University of Illinois at Chicago, in 1991.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Book 10 Years Ago 1 Oct. 2013
By Matt C - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a required reading book for my Virtual Reality class from Iowa State U. (ME/HCI 580).

It is outdated and underwhelming. Most of the technologies have been replaced long ago. If you are expected to use this book for any classes SUGGEST A NEW BOOK.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VR in the hand 17 Oct. 2003
By Hugo Neira Sánchez - Published on
Format: Hardcover
It is interesting this book, since gives a complete visualization of the current virtual reality. In form didactics it travels all the fields of the VR, not serving alone for a neophyte, also for somebody that the VR knows. Very good book
Hugo Neira S
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on VR 15 Jan. 2004
By A. JOHNSON - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I picked this text for my virtual reality course here at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory and found it to be an excellent, well written, comprehensive introduction to the field.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading which happen to appear when general public already ... 21 April 2015
By Maxim Lysak - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great reading which happen to appear when general public already forgot about VR, and just before the modern wave of VR obsession.
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