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Creating virtual worlds

Creation of virtual worlds for computer games and industrial systems

«Kvant program» specialists create virtual worlds of any complexity. Imagination, creative approach, talents and innovative solutions enable creation of virtual appearances in strict compliance with the Customer business objectives. We develop the content for a virtual world to be compatible with a wide range of AR gadgets.

«Kvant program» specialists create virtual worlds of any complexity. Imagination, creative approach, talents and innovative solutions enable creation of virtual appearances in strict compliance with the Customer business objectives. We develop the content for a virtual world to be compatible with a wide range of AR gadgets. 

Virtual reality (constructed reality, electronic reality, reality computer model, virtual reality, VR, 3d virtual reality) is a constructed world in which a person immerses. Nevertheless when you immerse in a virtual world, you understand that you are in an artificially created space i.e. you are capable of distinguishing the reality from virtual reality

Virtual reality/virtual world is a way of information visual representation and data management as well as a way of human interaction with highly complicated data systems

A virtual world can be a CAD-model, scientific simulation of a database organized in this or that way

Our developers provide VR user with an opportunity of interaction with this world and of direct management of entities inside this world using certain devices. Some worlds can be animated  (physical simulation or simple animated scripts) and reflect not only user’s action consequences but also independent processes. The interaction with a virtual world means real-time control of the world view point and is often thought to be a critical test defining virtual reality.

Up to date there is a wide range of applications and tasks to be solved by our customers with the help of virtual reality, beginning with games and ending with architectural and business planning

Many of these applications are virtual worlds that are very similar to the real world (for example, CAD or architectural modelling). Some applications offer ways of visual representation, structuring of worlds and data representation from a more beneficial position in terms of the task to be solved  that is not coordinated with what we can observe in the real world, as in, for instance, scientific simulators (scientific simulators), telepresense systems or air traffic control systems.

We also develop other applications the implementation of which with the help of VR methods differs a lot from the real life. These implementation are more costly and time-consuming but more interesting at the same time.  Here belong visual representation of data streams, modification of trends on the world financial markets, control and use of corporate information systems.
«Kvant Program» creates VRsystems of all types i.e.:

1. “Window on the world” type system (WoW) or Desktop VR

These systems use up-to-date computer monitors to display visual part of the cyberworld. The monitor screen is to be used as a window through which a person observes the virtual world. The major task of computer graphics is to make the picture in the window resemble the real one as much as possible and make virtual world entities behave in a natural way.

2. Video Mapping

That is a variant of WoW. The major difference is that the user silhouette created by the camera is superposed upon a 2D-picture created by the computer. As a result, the user looks at the screen and sees his or her own silhouette i.e. his or her virtual body embedded in the cyberdomain. It is this virtual body that interacts with the virtual world.

3.Immersive Systems

Ideal virtual reality systems immerse the user completely in the virtual world creating a feeling of physical presence. To achieve this goal, at least three conditions have to be met: creation and display on screen of an accurate image with a viewing angle of at least 180 degrees, dimensional sound, fullest possible and most realistic emulation of kinesthetic effects (effect of touching the surface etc.).

In order to display an accurate image with a large viewing angle and dimensional sound, so-called VR-helmets or head-mounted displays (HMD) are used in VR systems that look like helmets or masks equipped with a video and audio monitors. Another variant is using several large projection systems mounted on the walls of a small enclosed space and surround-sound that allows to produce an illusion of large space within a small physical space.

Emulation of kinesthetic effects is a sensible subject for almost all existing VR systems that pretend to be called fully immersive systems. By definition, «fully immersive» system means simulation of VR impact on all senses as is in the real life situations. While the computer graphics and sound technology level enable the creation of a very high-precision picture and three-dimensional positionable sound, the implementation of kinesthetic effects transmission is very poor.

«Kvant Program» belongs to a few companies that develop software for up-to-date exoskeleton systems based on the exposure suit  that enables the simulation of something similar to real kinesthetic information. This is made possible with the help of a number of small empty chambers located on the exposure suit surface that are filled with compressed air immediately when it is necessary to simulate a touch of a certain virtual object against this or that part of the body.

4. Telepresence systems

Telepresence systems have been extensively used for a relatively long time. The basic concept behind these systems is the connection of remote sensors installed on an object in the real life with a human operator. These remote sensors can be installed upon a robot or a radio-controlled device. A person receives video-data about the robot movement and can make corrections with the help of computer.

Among our customers of such systems, we have fire fighting services that use such systems for extinguishing fires with the help of robots, medical centers  specializing in surgery, neurosurgery and eye surgery.

Space industry is regarded as a prospective market for our company (studies are made by automatic space stations with the help of remote control and telepresence systems).

5.Mixed Reality

Integration of telepresence systems and a VR-based system results in a completely new technology that is called «Mixed reality». The computer image in mixed reality systems is generated on the basis of the data provided by the sensors of  telepresence  systems.

We are ready to develop such systems for up-to-date aviation (the pilot can see maps generated by the computer, required tactical data provided to the head-mounted display and at the same time has an opportunity of visual control of the real situation in the air).

VR hardware

For VR implementation «Kvant Program» develops a wide range of relatively sophisticated computer devices that include:

1.Image generators

Image generation for VR systems is the most time-consuming task. For fully immersive VR systems it is necessary to generate a real-time image as fast as possible and without delays. Fast computer graphics opens a large number of possibilities for VR systems as well as a variety of fields of application that have not been available before.
We are developing a line of rather powerful 2D/3D graphic accelerators at a very attractive price.

2.Control devices

One of the key moments of interaction with the virtual world is the coordination of the position change of a certain object in the real world (for example, that of a hand or head) with the change of its implementation in the cyberdomain. There is a variety of tracing methods of the real life object (objects) and of the movement control. Ideally such technologies shall ensure working with three dimensions for the object positioning (X,Y,Z) and three dimensions for the determination of its orientation.

The most primitive control devices are mouse, trackball and joystick. Although these devices are two-dimensional, correct software coding enables using them for six different dimensions monitoring  (as was required).

«Kvant Program» is currently developing  a 3D and  6D joystick, mouse and trackball. They are based on the conventional models with extra buttons, rotating wheels etc. added. These new models enable moving the cursor not only along XY axis, but also along Z axis as well as rotation in all three-dimensions.
Another conventional device to be associated with VR systems is sensor gloves (instrumented gloves). Using this type of devices for handling objects inside the computer is patented in the USA.  Instrumented gloves are equipped with dedicated sensors on each finger as well as with a device of general position tracking and hand orientation in such a glove. For example, VPL (the owner of the patent) has made its own DataGloves product based on optical fiber sensors for fingers and magnetic tracking system for tracking the position in the space. «Kvant program» is currently negotiating a joint project with VPL.

The concept applied to create the instrumented gloves has been used for the creation of dedicated costumes and exposure suits with exoskeletons that enable entering data about the movements of both hand and body into the computer. Such costumes are made extensive use of to record realistic movements to be used later for computer animation.

3. Stereo Vision 

Stereo vision is often included in VR systems, too. It is based on the creation of a different image for each eye. These images are generated taking into consideration the displacement of viewing angle at a distance equal to the average interpupillary dissonance. As a result a person gets an accurate 3D image.

Shutter glasses are the most widely spread non-professional devices for stereo vision. Our company is preparing to release such glasses on the national market.It is planned to release several models compatible both with TV sets and computers. The main advantage of shutter glasses produced by our company is relatively low price.

4.Head Mounted Display

Another device most frequently associated with VR systems is a head mounted display (HMD). HMD is usually a dedicated helmet or goggles equipped with a small video display located in front of the eyes that have optics required for focusing and expanding the picture within the scope of view. Some HMDs are equipped with two displays to create a stereoscopic image. Some HMDs have a large display with a better resolution but without stereoscopic effect.

For cheap HMD (the price ranging from $1000 to $10000) LCD-displays or small CRTs are applied  (similar to those used in camcorders). For more expensive models fiber optics technologies are applied to transmit image from external devices. HMD can be combined with dedicated sensors that trace head rotations.

The major drawback of all existing HMDs is relatively low resolution and certain smearing of the picture. «Kvant Program»  is developing dedicated devices that will be capable of projecting image directly to the eye retina with the top quality and resolution of the picture.

      The following factors are taken into consideration for the price determination of contracted projects:

  • costs of software development
  • costs of design development ( rendering of 3Dmodels, interfaces, animation etc.) depends on the complexity of scenario, silhouette quality, graphics peculiarities
  • Costs of the equipment (development/production/rent) for virtual reality

        Project milestones include:

  • Terms of reference
  • Concept and scenario elaboration
  • Creation of low and high levels of detail prototypes
  • Application design and preparation of 3D-models
  • Software coding
  • Creation of reference point (mark)
  • Testing
  • Follow-up

Our company does not exclude the creation of virtual reality from our business activities but we treat life virtualizing rather as something that is imminent in the nearest future.

Our company makes investments in VR and regards it not only as a very profitable business but as a global startup we find it necessary to participate in.

  We regard the creation of virtual worlds and virtualizing life as an innovation process that can change social and cultural situation to a bigger extent than car manufacturing and space flights have done. This is going to be a global change whatever the attitude towards it will be.

The focus on information within the structure of public production and wide spreading of communication and information innovations lead to :

dematerialization of social and cultural environment;

active incorporation of various spheres of culture such as economy, politics, education, science, art in the electronic domain of Internet communicative network

This process results in:

virtualizing of both activities and artefacts in the above spheres of culture

based on the information and communication interaction of a computer network, formation of a peculiar kind of an alternative social and cultural reality

network virtual reality called cyberdomain

revealing in the up-to-date social and cultural reality of these processes makes evident the ongoing culture virtualizing. Inouropinion, socialandculturalvirtualizingis:

a phenomenon caused by information revolution and subsequent series of information and communication innovations with the internet as the most significant one.

an innovation process i.e. the process based on innovations that transforms social and cultural environment.

In the 2-nd part of the XX-th century, as scientists notice, the idea of virtual reality emerges simultaneously in several spheres of science and technology:

in quantum physics, so called virtual particles began to be mentioned characterized with a special status (as compared with other elementary particles).

In aviation, a virtual aircraft cockpit has been developed that represents flight data and environmental conditions for the pilot in a special way.

In ergonomics a model of aircraft virtual flight has been created that records a special type of pilot and aircraft interaction in certain flight modes in certain conditions.

In psychology human virtual states have been discovered.

And finally the term “virtual reality” has been offered to denote certain computers that provide the user with interactive stereoscopic image.

Nevertheless the notion of virtual reality goes beyond the concept of “computer virtual reality”. The latter is only a type of it made relevant by the specific features of the cultural epoch.

Virtual realities can be of different nature — psychological, physical, social, chemical, political etc. In today’s scientific environment virtual reality means synthesized environment the defining attributes of which are:

Being generated — virtual reality is generated from the activity associated with another external reality.

Relevance — virtual reality is relevant, it exists «here and now», as long as the reality by which it is generated exists.

Self-containment — virtual reality has its own time, space and laws of existence (every virtual reality has its own «nature»).

Interactivity — virtual reality can interact with all other realities including the one it is generated by being ontologically independent of them.

Therefore virtualizing is first of all a social and cultural phenomenon based on innovations, in particular information and communication innovations generated by technological revolution. Moreover, as an innovative phenomenon, social and cultural virtualizing enabled by information technologies steadily transforms social and cultural environment.

In today’s economy there exist such phenomena as electronic market, electronic commerce, virtual product, virtual production, a virtual plant, a virtual bank and virtual organizations (enterprise, corporation) on general.

The virtual sphere of economy is at first constituted as «another economy» that reproduces procedures and relationships of real life in represented money but subsequently it turns into the “main” economy defining the global dominance of speculative capital over productive capital.

Nowadays politics uses the global information network as a means and environment of its activities. Almost all political actions are accompanied with the creation of dedicated servers and web –pages that contribute to the cultivation of a politician’s public image, enable campaigns and communication with supporters etc. The global network can be used to get consultations and to apply for information to various federal and political structures.

Science and education are represented in the Internet with virtual universities that offer distance learning; with web-sites of real educational establishments that provide applicants, students  and teachers with information; with virtual conferences organized by scientific communities; with educational portals and virtual electronic library banks.

Art exists in the cyberdomain in all of its aspects: virtual museums, virtual galleries, virtual workshops. Moreover, as the multimedia environment of the Internet was built-up, interactive Internet-art and network literature emerged.

Therefore from the point of view of information and technology, culture virtualizing happens as a peculiar immersion into a unified electronic virtual environment forming a new social and cultural reality that originates to the creation of PC and computer networks.

The up-to-date unified information and communication network is such a system where «the reality itself  (i.e. the material existence of people) is fully immersed into virtual images, make-believe world with the images not only appearing on screen but transferring experience and offering experience.

Another important consequence of «real virtuality» of the modern culture is that the new communication system dramatically transforms time and space.

Regions are deprived of their cultural, historic and geographic significance and are reintegrated into functional networks, collages of images bringing about a jet space that replaces the space of places. In the new communication system time wears away: past, present and future can be coded to interact with each other in the same message.

The material basement of the new culture is the «jet space» and «supertemporal time». Consequently the contemporary culture is the culture of real virtuality where the make-believe world is invented in the process of its creation». The second aspect of culture virtualizing – that of information and essence – covers the processes of «dematerialization» of culture that is a variety of products and structures of human activity and the uprising of simulations in their place. As information is the main resource for social and cultural production, not the material shell but the information image of a thing becomes the product of this production process.

Therefore the contemporary culture is regarded as a peculiar virtual system where the real social and cultural reality is substituted with a simulated hyperreality.

In the sphere of economy the basic characteristics used to be productivity and financial solvency and the focus was on the creation of a product i.e. a thing with benefit as the objective property. Nowadays the situation has changed.

The production of goods does not present challenges, the focus is on making them attractive for the purchaser and on selling them. Consequently this is not a thing that is produced (for example, a telephone), but an image (of being stylish, confident, powerful, attractive, trendy, presentable). The production process i.e. price formation leaves design bureaus and shop floors and moves to marketing departments, advertising and PR agencies, social media bureaus. The simulation of a thing in advertising prevails over the thing itself.

Virtualizing is a social and cultural innovative process brought about by the information and technology revolution. It is based on the information and communication innovations. This is what its specifics is conditioned with in the social and cultural environment i.e. in terms of information and technology and information and essence aspects.

As an innovative process, virtualizing implies transformation of the social and cultural environment. The study of individual spheres of culture in terms of the above aspects of virtualizing has revealed the following character of social and cultural changes:

The analysis of the most weighty theories devoted to the social and cultural process of virtualizing is the evidence of innovative character of this process from the point of view of history and culture, the consistency of which conditions its conceptualization and advancement as a paradigm of social changes and an alternative to the prevailing sociological models — globalization and modernization.

Nevertheless, the project of social and cultural development based on globalization is not less significant. In our opinion, it can be considered innovative on equal terms with virtualizing.