Inside the HIVE (Highly-portable Immersive Virtual Environment)

Screen shot from the HIVE’s (Highly-portable Immersive Virtual Environment) test of the Unity Graphics Engine. This picture is from a view on top of the Himalayas, created using NASA satellite images of Earth and elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.

Screen shot from the HIVE’s (Highly-portable Immersive Virtual Environment) test of the Unity Graphics Engine. This picture is from a view on top of the Himalayas, created using NASA satellite images of Earth and elevation data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission.

Team Location: NASA Langley Research Center

Authors: Nathan Walker, Jasmine Walker, James Farmer, Jeremiah Dunn, Matei Bivolaru, Shawn Martin

Advisors/Science Mentors: Nelson Hillyer

Abstract: The Highly-portable Immersive Virtual Environment (HIVE) uses stereographic shutter glasses to create a 3D environment to display 3D models and complex information. The design allows for ease of disassembly and transportation to deliver visualizations wherever they are needed. For the 2011 summer term, the HIVE team worked on forming a partnership with SERVIR to display near real-time environmental data such as MODIS fire data from the Fire Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) and earthquake locations from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). As part of the HIVE’s continuing goal to keep up to date with the latest and greatest technologies, the HIVE team began research and implementation of different types of interaction and immersion. One implementation was a new environment using the Unity engine to create more immersive and dynamic scenes. Another implementation was continued research and integration of Microsoft’s Kinect with the newly released software development kit to provide motion controls and head-tracking.

Video transcript available here.