Elizabeth Churchill, Dave Snowdon
Virtual Reality: Research, Development and Application, Springer-Verlag, 1998
A Collaborative Virtual Environment or CVE is a distributed, virtual reality that is designed to support
collaborative activities. As such, CVEs provide a potentially infinite, graphically realized digital landscape
within which multiple users can interact with each other and with simple or complex data representations.
CVEs are increasingly being used to support collaborative work between geographically separated and
between collocated collaborators. CVEs vary in the sophistication of the data and embodiment representations
employed and in the level of interactivity supported. It is clear that systems intended to support individual and
collaborative activities must be designed with the user's social and cognitive task characteristics and
requirements considered explicitly. In this paper, we detail a number of existing systems and applications, but
first discuss the nature of collaborative and cooperative work activities and consider the place of virtual reality
systems in supporting such collaborative work. Following this, we discuss some future research directions.
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