Consumer VR headsets may not be upon us just yet. But that does not mean Virtual Reality is not in use. Especially by those with larger budgets, for example Jaguar Land Rover.
Jaguar have used VR extensively in their design of their most recent models. Land Rover Evoque and F-Type to name but a few.
So what is CAVE and how do they do it?
The CAVE (Computer Aided Virtual Environment) is essentially an empty room, with three of the sides and the ceiling acting as screens for the 3D projection of the computer generated models.
The cave uses two Sony digital cinema projectors (SRX-S105) per screen to display 3D images that are four times the resolution of HD TV. Each projector has a 4K resolution of 4096x2160. The fact they are all combined together is rather neat.
These eight projectors are powered by 16 high performance PCs. In addition to these 16 PCs, there are also two additional machines. The first processes the CAD data that goes to the projector PCs and the second machine records output data.
The virtual reality cave allows an operator wearing 3D glasses to manipulate images using a wand, not too dissimilar to a console controller.
All this allows the CAVE user to simulate vehicles from the outside and inside, as well as in simulated locations such as streets, to testing trunk space, to deconstructing them by literally pulling away the panels in the virtual world, and navigating through vehicles to assess them during development.
In Jaguars commercial (below) it shows a rather Hollywoodized version of the cave but is not too far off reality.
I wonder what technology they'll be using 5 years from now?