Posted by: crudbasher | November 22, 2010

A Virtual Field Trip You Can Walk Into

CAVE image from

CAVE technology has actually be around for almost 20 years but it is getting much less expensive these days.  A CAVE is a room that has projectors on all 6 walls.  The images are floor to ceiling therefore they blend into one huge image you are standing inside.  By using a joystick or similar device you can walk through a computer generated scene.  This has a huge amount of wow factor. So how can technological advances on the horizon bring this to schools?

Well the expensive part is the display technology.  Even so, projectors have come down in price quite steeply.  Once we can get large quantities of cheap, wallpaper-like displays any room could be converted into a CAVE.  This will allow virtual field trips to any place with a whole class.

In my opinion, personal head mounted display technology for Augmented Reality or full Virtual Reality will be here before the CAVE system really gets low cost enough.  Even so, I can see a time in 10-15 years where we have both options.


The full story is below.

  • CAVE systems

    tags: technology cave graphics

    • Users today value design visualization for its ability to make 3D CAD data appear life-like. But what if you could take that same data, immerse yourself in it, and walk though it life-size?
    • That technology is not only available, it’s accessible, affordable, and making inroads for AEC applications. Inside full-scale analysis simulators at Duke University and Iowa State University, translated 3D CAD data is projected onto the walls, ceiling, and floor of the room-sized units. Iowa State’s six-sided CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) displays the highest resolution available anywhere (100 million pixels), is powered by 24 projectors, and requires stereoscopic glasses for viewing and a joystick controller to navigate through the data.
    • “By standing in the simulator, we got the sensation of actually being in the yet-to-be-constructed facility, with a sense of realism that is as close to the real thing as you can get. It was much more effective than simply viewing static perspective drawings or computer-aided fly-throughs. The stereoscopic glasses, along with being able to literally walk through the building by using the joystick, were liberating.
    • The cost to rent the full-scale simulator typically ranges from $1,200 to $1,800 per visit, depending on the size and number of files and time needed on the system. “Often clients come back, if it’s affordable, and view a design at multiple stages,” Fuller said.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kwan Tuck Soon, Andrew Barras. Andrew Barras said: New Post: A Virtual Field Trip You Can Walk Into #edchat #edtech […]

  2. […] Obviously this would have large implications for Education.  If display technology really does get this cheap, then you really would be able to wallpaper the classroom with wall sized displays.  Then your classroom becomes a CAVE. […]

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