BGSU Magazine Spring 2007

Pocket-size Virtual Reality is monumental breakthrough

It’s Monday afternoon on the campus of BGSU, and Dr. Larry Hatch’s “Digital Magicians” are in the middle of a virtual-reality project so far out that it reads like the screenplay for The Matrix.

THE ALAMO: A POCKET VIRTUAL WORLD!

That’s the name of the project and Hatch’s undergraduate digital-media students (they call themselves “The Hot Group”) are convinced that it will absolutely blow your mind. Their goal (in partnership with Jared Bendis, creative director of new media at Case Western Reserve University and virtual reality specialist at the Cleveland Museum of Art): to create a “virtual-world replication” of the famed Alamo battlefield shrine in San Antonio.

These cyber-hotshots plan to use state-of-the-art digital technology to construct a visual “panorama” of the Alamo National Park that visitors can actually walk through instead of merely observing it on a two-dimensional computer screen.

By combining and filtering more than 250 panoramic photos taken last year at the famous Mexican-American War site, this group of visual communication technology (VCT) majors–led by Hatch–will create a visual landscape that can be viewed on hand-held PDAs (pocket digital assistants) by visitors who are actually walking around in a high school gymnasium, or maybe on an outdoor parking lot.

For VCT program information click here