From 3-D crime scene mapping to wildfire simulations, DRI Virtual Environments, or the “DRIVE” platform, allows teams and individuals to explore complex environments in large-format virtual reality theaters. Located on DRI’s northern campus in Reno, DRI’s two DRIVE theaters — known as DRIVE4 and DRIVE6 — are flexible, sophisticated virtual reality enclosures with multiple projected surfaces that can be used to create fully immersive experiences for researchers, emergency responders, forensics teams, medical professionals, legal experts and others.
DRIVE 4, constructed in 2006, is a four sided (three walls and a floor) concept development theater where early visualization experiments may be performed. DRIVE 6, constructed in 2009, has six projected surfaces (four walls, a floor, and a ceiling) that form all sides of a cube, and is one of only a few large-format virtual reality theaters in the world.
Inside of DRIVE 4 and DRIVE 6, projectors display high-resolution images on the walls, while users wear stereoscopic glasses to experience the projected images in 3-D. Ultrasonic tracking devices monitor the user’s position and movements with 1mm accuracy. High-powered computers adjust the projected images to match the user’s movements, allowing the user to walk around objects or view a scene from different angles. A control wand allows the user to interact directly with the environment – for example, lifting an object, or opening a door. A fully capable sound system provides audio.