Mental Vision: a Computer Graphics platform for Virtual Reality, Science and Education

Staff - Faculty of Informatics

Start date: 2 December 2009

End date: 3 December 2009

The Faculty of Informatics is pleased to announce a seminar given by Achille Peternier

DATE: Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
PLACE: USI Università della Svizzera italiana, room SI-013, Informatics building (Via G. Buffi 13)
TIME: 14.30

Despite the wide amount of computer graphics frameworks and solutions available for 3D, it is still difficult to find a perfect one fitting at the same time the many constraints of research and educational contexts. Advanced functionalities and user-friendliness, rendering speed and portability, or scalability and image quality are opposite characteristics rarely found into a same approach. Furthermore, fruition of advanced 3D specific devices like CAVEs or wearable systems is limited by their costs and accessibility, being most of these innovations reserved to institutions and specialists able to afford and manage them through strong background knowledge in programming and dedicated software.
In this presentation we describe how we addressed these problems through the creation of the Mental Vision platform. Mental Vision is a framework composed of three main entities: a teaching/research oriented graphics engine (simplifying and homogenizing access to 2D/3D real-time rendering on mobile devices, personal computers and CAVE systems), a series of pedagogical tools, and two advanced virtual reality systems (a wearable, lightweight and handsfree mixed reality setup, and a four sides CAVE designed through off the shelf hardware).
In this talk we explain our conceptual, architectural and technical approach, pointing out how we managed to create a robust and coherent solution reducing complexity related to cross-platform and multi-device 3D rendering, and answering simultaneously to contradictory common needs of computer graphics and virtual reality for researchers and students. A series of case studies evaluates how Mental Vision concretely satisfies these needs and achieves its goals on in vitro benchmarks and in vivo scientific and educational projects.

Achille Peternier obtained his diploma in IT-Sciences and Mathematical Methods (IMM) at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), Switzerland, in 2005. He completed in 2009 his Ph.D. at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, where he was since 2005 research assistant at the Virtual Reality Laboratory (VRLab). His main research topics are Computer Graphics, Virtual Reality, software development and multimedia, with particular emphasis to user-friendly accessibility, design robustness and cost efficiency.

HOST: Prof. Walter Binder and Prof. Cesare Pautasso