Information-rich virtual environments: theory, tools, and research agenda
Virtual environments (VEs) allow users to experience and interact with a rich sensory environment, but most virtual worlds contain only sensory information similar to that which we experience in the physical world. Information-rich virtual environments (IRVEs) combine the power of VEs and information visualization, augmenting VEs with additional abstract information such as text, numbers, or graphs. IRVEs can be useful in many contexts, such as education, medicine, or construction. In our work, we are developing a theoretical foundation for the study of IRVEs and tools for their development and evaluation. We present a working definition of IRVEs, a discussion of information display and interaction in IRVEs. We also describe a software framework for IRVE development and a testbed enabling evaluation of text display techniques for IRVEs. Finally, we present a research agenda for this area.