CAVELib is the most widely used Application Programmer’s Interface (API) for developing applications for immersive displays. The philosophy of the CAVELib is to let the developer concentrate on their application and let the CAVELib handle the difficulties of VR. The CAVELib’s API is simple but powerful, only a fraction of the API’s capabilities are required to create an immersive application, yet it has an extensive API to meet even the most advanced developer’s needs.
The CAVELib 3.0 API provides the building blocks to handle the intricacies of creating robust applications for Virtual Environments. Some of the items the CAVELib abstracts away for a developer are, window and viewport creation, viewer-centered perspective calculations, displaying to multiple graphics channels, multi-processing and multi-threading, cluster synchronization and data sharing, and stereoscopic viewing.
The CAVELib dramatically extends a developer’s abilities to create solutions with scalable, immersive 3D representations without having to contend with operating system, display system, and device-level programming details. Furthermore, the CAVELib’s networking capabilities allows collaboration, interaction and data sharing with users across the hall or around the world.
CAVELib 3.0 is the first version of the cross-platform API. Version 3.0 enables developers to create high-end virtual reality applications on IRIX, HP-UX, Solaris, Windows 2000 and Linux operating systems. CAVELib-based applications are externally configurable at run-time, making an application executable independent of the display system. So, without recompilation, the application can be run on a wide variety of display systems. And the cross-platform API of the CAVELib makes it possible to maintain a single code base yet run on a variety of display systems and operating systems.
Applications created with the CAVELib have the ability to run in nearly all immersive display systems. An application written for an immersive environment, like a CAVELib application, has the ability to explore data with a viewer-centered perspective and six degrees-of-freedom interactions. These capabilities have shown to give businesses enhanced understanding and increased efficiency across a host of areas, such as, product development, R&D, engineering, manufacturing, training, medicine and marketing. Some applications have allowed multiple design iterations without building a physical prototype, viewing of supercomputer weather simulations, and communicating virtual-face to virtual-face with collaborators around the world.
Trackd® is the standard device software for the leading VR applications, developers, display manufacturers, motion tracking companies, and input device manufacturers in the immersive display industry. The trackd is a small “daemon” application that takes information from a variety of tracking and input devices and makes that information available for other applications to use. Trackd is used with large and small immersive displays to allow applications to take advantage of six degree of freedom tracking and immersive interactive tools.
Trackd is used by all VRCO products, including VRScape® and vGeo™, as well as all CAVELib™ applications and many applications from leading software companies. It is the middle-ware standard for the Immersive Display industry, and is available with most commercially installed systems. Trackd works with a variety of operating systems (IRIX, Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, and Win32) and its networking capabilities allow different graphics machines to share information from tracking and input devices regardless of operating system.
Applications that use the trackd do not need to know what type of hardware device is being used. The applications receive data from trackers and input devices through a generic Application Programmers Interface, called the trackdAPI. This generic interface allows applications to support a range of hardware without having to modify source code, or write specific hardware drivers. It also allows immersive display owners to change, replace or upgrade components without having to replace their software, or lose functionality.
The trackd supports devices through the use of shared object libraries. Adding device support is done by obtaining a new .so file for that device, eliminating the need for a full product re-installation in order to support new hardware. VRCO continues to add support for new devices as they come onto the market. With a trackd maintenance contract users are entitled to the latest device support and upgrades. VRCO even allows users to add trackd support for custom devices by using the trackd Software Development Kit, the trackdSDK.
For programmers and software companies, the freely available trackdAPI can be used to add trackd support to any application. This generic interface frees the immersive application developer from having to write and maintain device level support software giving them an unprecedented freedom to explore device options and choose the right one for their interaction requirements.
The Virtual Global Explorer and Observatory (vGeo) is an interactive data fusion and visual analysis tool designed to meet the complex challenges faced by today’s scientists, engineers and simulation analysts. A vGeo user can navigate and interact with a time varying, three-dimensional world constructed from many large, multivariate data sets including observations, computer simulations, images, and model objects. By taking advantage of the ability to recognize data patterns by seeing them – as animated 3D objects in an immersive environment – users often discover features and relationships that might go otherwise unnoticed.
VRScape® is VRCO’s Simple Model Viewing Collabrative application. Easy to use and easy to configure, it is an excellent program for Virtual Environment browsing. Simple to configure data files and intuitive navigation makes this program the must have for VR neophytes and experts alike. Despite its simplicity, it is full featured with multiple interactive capabilities and networked collaboration for sharing environments with other users around the globe.
VRScape is the practical way for businesses to use the power of networked collaboration and large format immersive displays today. VRScape enables businesses to integrate customized VR solutions while maintaining the integrity of their existing software infrastructure and business frameworks.