top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Huge 3D world opens in Rennes

Virtual reality scientists can work in cities, artillery ranges, car workshops and operating theatre - all in one room

AN ASTONISHING new world has been revealed in Rennes with the opening of the world's largest virtual reality suite - bringing the sci-fi future of The Matrix to life.

Users of the Institut de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (Inria) can become totally immersed in the Immersia virtual world: touching, feeling handling 3D virtual objects in minute detail on the giant glass wall that is the virtual stage.

The stage measures 10 metres wide by 3m deep and high and, wearing stereoscopic glasses and with their movements captured by infra-red sensors, a person can enter the virtual world and interact directly with it by moving beside objects, climbing inside and handling controls.

The giant scale of the room means other people can enter and see a stereoscopic view of what is being done but not affect the actions.

It gives immediate hands-on experience of working in different environments - from an earthquake zone, to a whole cityscape, to an army firing range to a car workshop and an operating theatre - and could revolutionise training.

The €940,000 project is funded by Brittany region as part of a French and European research project called Visionnaire and would allow researchers from different countries to collaborate and try out their ideas.

Technical director Ronan Gaugne said the 3D room could allow car industry technicians in different parts of Europe to collaborate to work out the best way of assembling a car - without a single solid piece of metal having been made.

He added: "Immersia is to virtual reality what Cern [the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland] is to nuclear research."

The stage is of immense scale and is made up of retro-projected glass computer display screens: a main screen nearly 10m wide by 3m high with 12.5million pixels; side screens of 3m square at 3.8million pixels and a horizontal acrylic ground screen of 10m by 3m, of 3.6million pixels.

It has already allowed researchers from University College London to collaborate on research projects with the Breton university and future links are planned with Danish scientists.

See the project in action on this video from Ouest France newspaper:

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Healthcare in France*
Featured Help Guide
- Understand the French healthcare system, how you access it and how you are reimbursed - Useful if you are new to the French healthcare system or want a more in-depth understanding - Reader question and answer section Aimed at non-French nationals living here, the guide gives an overview of what you are (and are not) covered for. There is also information for second-home owners and regular visitors.
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now