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Advances in Multimedia
Volume 2008, Article ID 426981, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2008/426981
Research Article

Remote Laboratory Experiments in a Virtual Immersive Learning Environment

1Communications Laboratory, University of Genoa Research Unit, University of Genoa, National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT), Savona Multimedia, Via Armando Magliotto 2, 17100 Savona, Italy
2Department of Communications, Computer and Systems Science (DIST), University of Genoa Research Unit, National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT), Via Opera Pia 13, 16154 Genova, Italy
3National Laboratory for Multimedia Communications, Complesso Universitario Monte Sant’Angelo, National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT), Via Cinthia, Edificio Centri Comuni, 80126 Napoli, Italy

Received 7 March 2008; Accepted 3 November 2008

Academic Editor: Ghassan Alregib

Copyright © 2008 Luca Berruti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Virtual Immersive Learning (VIL) test bench implements a virtual collaborative immersive environment, capable of integrating natural contexts and typical gestures, which may occur during traditional lectures, enhanced with advanced experimental sessions. The system architecture is described, along with the motivations, and the most significant choices, both hardware and software, adopted for its implementation. The novelty of the approach essentially relies on its capability of embedding functionalities that stem from various research results (mainly carried out within the VICOM national project), and “putting the pieces together” in a well-integrated framework. These features, along with its high portability, good flexibility, and, above all, low cost, make this approach appropriate for educational and training purposes, mainly concerning measurements on telecommunication systems, at universities and research centers, as well as enterprises. Moreover, the methodology can be employed for remote access to and sharing of costly measurement equipment in many different activities. The immersive characteristics of the framework are illustrated, along with performance measurements related to a specific application.