ALIVE: Artificial Life Interactive Video Environment
The majority of virtual reality systems do not represent a very natural or engaging experience to the participant. The first problem is that they require the participant to be 'wired up' by means of goggles or gloves. The second problem is that they typically only allow the participant to engage in simple, straightforward interactions. Typically, a user can only navigate through the virtual space (thereby changing what he/she perceives), and sometimes the participant can also perform some simple manipulations on virtual objects.
The goal of the 'ALIVE' system was to provide a very different kind of experience. Inspired by the work of pioneer Myron Krueger, we wanted a participant to be able to interact with a virtual environment in a much more natural, unencumbered way, using familiar gestures that do not require any obtrusive equipment. In addition, we wanted the user to be able to do more than just navigate through the environment or manipulate simple objects. We wanted to demonstrate that in order for a virtual environment to be very engaging, it might not be so important how fancy and fast the graphics are, but rather how meaningful and interesting the interactions can be.