Welcome to the WPI Human Interaction in Virtual Environments Lab
What are Virtual Environments (VEs)?
Virtual environments, also called virtual worlds or synthetic environments, are systems that
represent a space using computer-generated or mediated stimuli. While this definition might seem broad to some,
the defining differences between similar systems (e.g., desktop simulations) are a high level of
immersion (i.e., "being there") combined with a tight coupling between user actions and changes to
the environment. This reliance on effective user interaction, in all its forms, is the main goal of the
We define virtual reality (VR) as fooling the senses into believing they are experiencing something that they
are not actually experiencing. For our group, it is important to address all the senses. The vast
majority of work that has been done in the field of VR has addressed the visual
and auditory senses. We are interested in the remaining senses,
haptic, olfactory, and
gustatory, in addition to these.
Here are some pictures from HIVE Group trips.
Apple Picking, October 2009
Skiing, December 2009
Click images for more pictures.