A CAVE is a small room where at least two of the walls are made of screens where a series of digital pictures are projected. CAVE tool provide the user with a wide visual field so he is free to move without having to physically interact with a computer. Thanks to stereoscopic glasses (whether active or passive) the user gets an immersive and three-dimensional field of vision. The front projection effect, and more often the rear projection, is used on these screens. The system employs a tracker, a device connected to the glasses worn by the user, which communicates to the system the position and the orientation of his point of view in order to dynamically generate the correct view; this guarantees a dynamic adjustment of the view, which is the essential constituent providing a full immersion in the three-dimensional environment. Although a CAVE can host more than one person at the same time, only one person can benefit from the correct view. The CAVE is the ideal device for Virtual Prototyping, because it enables bimanual interaction, complete freedom of movement, the sensation of a realistic full scale and cooperative discussion opportunity. The term CAVE refers to Plato’s cave where the philosopher used to explore the ideas of perception, reality and illusion; he used the analogies of the human shadows projected on the wall being the only knowledge base to explore the meaning of real objects.
Navicelli CAVE: prospects for companies
S.p.A. Navicelli di Pisa makes the Cave available to companies wanting to test new design methods: through the CAVE, the designer team can display its object on full scale and modify it in real time, reducing design time. Is it possible to visit the Navicelli Cave in order to learn how this technology works and which methods and procedures a company can use.
CAVE as a marketing tool
The employment of virtual technology, and more specifically the Cave technology, could be perfectly well employed for yachting; making use of this virtual reality – by replacing or assisting the current methods when submitting the yacht design to the ship-owner – can increase the value of the dockyard. The benefits could be significant for the dockyard both enhancing the corporate image – since there are few institutions in Italy embracing this technology to show their products – and reducing costs and times related to some adjustment made on the boats. As what happens in other industries – such as in the car industry – the Cave is a very useful tool for boats design because it allows the designer team to display the project to a group of people in the same time; therefore, the team members are able to decide together on what changes should be introduced. This facilitate and accelerate the design of the interior as well as of the exterior and optimal solutions will be identified.
Any company interested in learning the potential of this technology and the opportunity to improve new virtual design procedures can gain access to the Navicelli Cave. The Company organizes guided tours to show the Cave and explain the operating procedures, technical specifications, developments opportunities and what could be the benefits for any company adopting this technology in its industry.
Navicelli di Pisa S.p.A., in association with VRMedia S.r.l. of Pisa and the Scuola Normale Superiore’s centre Dreamslab, realized a demo to display a 3D visualization of the Barca Alga; the boat is a Navicelli di Pisa S.p.A.’s property; formerly, it has been object of studies and researches for the University of Firenze (Faculty of Architecture and Design) and workshops organized by ARTEX, Florence (Centro per l’Artigianato Artistico e Tradizionale della Toscana) in order to upgrade it to “yacht lab”. The implementation provides the visitor with the virtual reproduction of interiors and a realistic “entrance” in the Barca Alga. Right from the beginning, the basic idea was to use the computer-aided design (CAD) – worked out by the students of Architecture and Design during the workshop Scenari di Innovazione (part of the cross-border nautical project INNAUTIC) – in order to promote the studies and researches carried out up to that time. For that reason, the didactic and demonstrative purpose of the implementation is primarily school and companies-oriented.
Considering the interest for the CAVE technology showed by experts and operators in the sector, Navicelli di Pisa S.p.A., in association with the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, achieved a brand new specific employment in order to provide the nautical sector (dockyards, architecture and design studios, professionals) with a more functional use. The new application has a higher level of quality, definition and detail: a 3D animation has been created using the project of a luxury yacht allowing the viewing of boat’s interiors and the “sailing”. Besides, it will be possible to choose among up to three colours for the carpets and the items.