Virtual reality (VR) systems and the virtual environments (VEs) experienced within them have presented challenges to human computer interaction over many years. The sheer range of different interfaces which might be experienced and of different behaviours which might be exhibited have caused difficulties in general understanding of participants' performance within VR/VE and in providing coherent guidance for designers. We have recently completed a European Information Society Technologies (IST) project, Virtual and Interactive Environments for Workplaces of the Future (VIEW of the Future), which has made great strides in developing improved VR systems and interaction concepts and devices, based upon good understanding of participation in VEs. Particular emphasis in the VIEW of the Future project has been upon mobility and multiple active collaboration in use of VR/VE. This paper introduces a special issue devoted to this project and overviews the project as a whole. In doing so it also reviews some of the human factors issues defined for VR/VE over the years and the contribution of VIEW of the Future to addressing these.
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