NEW HIGH TECNOLOGY! Kalle Heiska science journalist
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8 May 2001

Fun with video games in Virtual Space

A group of schoolchildren steering the Nautilus diving bell
High resolution image (1 075 631 bytes)
 

An internationally newest-of-the-new way to enjoy the group experience and the feeling of success has been developed by VTT Information Technology, one of the research institutes of the Technical Research Centre of Finland. When a group of a few people come to play in the interactive Virtual Space, things really start to happen; sounds, images and lighting change uniquely according to the movements and gestures of the group.

The Virtual Space game Nautilus lets the group sink to the depths in a diving bell to rescue a dolphin trapped below a wreck in Lake Näsijärvi. The group encounters an overall experience, just as they would in an amusement park.

- I have never seen anything like it. Virtual Space and the game transform your body movements into an absorbing game which needs no wearable devices. And it's also a good thing that the game can be controlled by a low-cost basic computer, says Mr. Timo Rahunen, department manager at Tampere's Särkänniemi Adventure Park.

- The Nautilus user interface means a totally new experience, especially for groups, such as families. My experiences are extremely positive. If we decide to acquire such a game for our adventure park we would expect to complete the building for it in the course of the coming winter, Mr. Rahunen continues.

The way in which the game is implemented is really something new for user interfaces where technology helps people in their everyday lives: keeping fit, group activity, entertainment, communication and interaction. The present technical realisation is based on invisible sensors, which provide information to ordinary PCs controlling the lighting, surround sounds and a wall-size live image.

Virtual Space and the Nautilus game are the result of collaboration between VTT Information Technology, Cube Oy, Nokia Research Center, Särkänniemi Adventure Park, Tekes, the National Technology Agency and the

Veli-Pekka Räty

University of Lapland. The main credit for the development work behind Nautilus goes to the Tampere Intuitive Environment research group of VTT Information Technology in Tampere.

Further information
VTT: Veli-Pekka Räty,
Tel. + 358 3 316 3340 or +358 40 575 4955 (mobile)
veli-pekka.raty@vtt.fi

Also
Nautilus Game and Virtual Space Project:
www.vtt.fi/tte/projects/lumetila
Intuitive Environment research group:
www.vtt.fi/tte/research/tte5/tte54

Feel free to use all news. Kalle Heiska
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