Annett, M. K. and Bischof, W. F. (2009). VR for Everybody: The SNaP Framework. In M. E. Latschik, D. Reiners, R. Blach, P. Figueroa, and R. Dachselt (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE VR Workshop on Software Engineering and Architectures for Realtime Interactive Systems (SEARIS) (pp. 25-30). Aachen: Shaker.
Over the past decade, Virtual Reality (VR) has garnered widespread use in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and especially spatial navigation research. Current VR systems are difficult to design and configure, particularly when arrays of hardware peripherals are used. Issues with hardware integration, architectural design, and usability have lead to the creation of inflexible and immobile VR systems. We present a potential solution to these issues, the SNaP Framework. The framework integrates VR input and output peripherals and an easy-to-use configuration medium (XML) with a popular software development suite (Virtools) to create a VR system that supports users with different computer skills. We report on the architecture of the SNaP Framework and provide details from a study that measured the usability of the framework. We conclude with a discussion of experiences encountered while designing and implementing the system.
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