Scenario III A castle and visitor centre
A castle in a remote area is in desperate need of roof renovation, and the trustees are
having difficulty in drumming up the necessary cash to carry out these necessary repairs.
A new visitor centre, a few kilometres along the road, is having its own difficulties.
Despite the area's rich historical significance and great natural beauty, the centre finds
that its visitor numbers are dwindling.The two organisations decide to team up and
launch a co-authored Website. Considering the amount of time they have on their hands
during the wintertime, learning basic Web-authoring skills is not a problem for the staff
of either attraction, and this is done via free online tutorials.
The next step is in deciding how best to market the area and its attractiveness to
potential visitors. In collaboration with the area's tourist board, the organisations decide
to commission a VRML model of the castle with a photorealistic background, allowing
Website-visitors to explore the area and to view it in its natural context.While `inside'
the castle, visitors can learn about the area via interactive learning links provided by the
visitor centre and tourist board.
As a result of this collaboration the centre's visitor numbers increase significantly, and
the majority of these new visitors will continue on to visit the castle, perhaps even
spending a night in a local bed and breakfast.This leads to increased donations for the
castle's roof appeal as well as an overall boost in the local economy.
Scenario IV A national theatre and cinema
A recently independent country is in the process of planning its new national theatre,
and the advisory board wishes to incorporate some of the most attractive and celebrated
elements of famous theatres from around the globe in its design.The theatre will also
double as a national cinema, and will incorprate a development/resource unit for aspiring
filmmakers.The new government is determined that the venture will be a success, and
has committed a significant amount of funding to the project.
Using an adaptable VR model, the designers and steering committee are able to visu-
alise the sightlines of the theatre in relation to its various components, and to move these
components interactively using haptic feedback technology and three-dimensional dis-
plays. In addition, the haptic interface allows the designers to resize components in real-
time, and the output of the system can be accepted as input into an architectural CAD
application.This latter tool can be used to validate structural soundness and viability.
The result is a collaborative effort which has involved all interested parties in the
design of a valuable national asset, and one that will hopefully remain in the hearts and
minds of citizens for centuries to come as a symbol of their heritage and aspirations.
B e n e f i t s a n d R i s k s
Benefits of VR
First and foremost VR provides an effective conduit for humanities learning, bringing
the past to something close to life and allowing students to experience the past interac-
tively and, at best, intuitively.VR affords societal groups such as the young or the disabled
Virtual Reality and