·1. Environmental Media Project
Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan.
·2. Virtual Explorer
University of California, San Diego, CA.
·3. VRML Projects
Telepresence Research, Inc., San Francisco, CA.
·4. Virtual Brewery Adventure
Telepresence Research, Inc., San Francisco, CA.
·5. Menagerie
Telepresence Research, Inc., San Francisco, CA.
·6. Telepresence Mobile Robot
Telepresence Research, Inc., San Francisco, CA.
·7. NASA VIEWlab
NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View CA.
·8. Viewpoint Dependent Imaging
Architecture Machine Group, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
·9. Stereoscopic Workstation
Architecture Machine Group, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
·10. Dancing Images
Architecture Machine Group, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
·11. Stereoscopic Design Theater
Fiat/Lancia Design, Turin, Italy.
·12. Stereoscopic Art Works
Center for Advanced Visual Studies, MIT, Cambridge, MA.
Virtual Brewery Adventure
Telepresence Research, Inc., San Francisco, CA

The Virtual Brewery Adventure is a Virtual Environment experience developed for Sapporo Beer of Japan. The exhibit is permanently installed in the Visitor's Center of Sapporo's new office building located in the Yebisu Gardens Place Development in the Ebisu area of Tokyo - originally the site of Sapporo's Yebisu Brewery built in 1887. The Virtual Brewery has had over a million visitors since it opened to the general public 6 days a week in October 1994.

The exhibit is an immersive experience that surrounds the user in a three-dimensional, computer-generated world. The viewer uses a 3-D display device called a BOOM, developed originally in our lab at NASA and later commercialized by Fakespace. We modified the BOOM so that it was appropriate for a public installation--we ruggedized it and put extra safety devices on it. Visitors at the exhibit also have the option of looking through one of 12 passive viewers, which are essentially BOOM heads without the mechanical linkage. Although visitors can't control the viewpoint through the passive viewers, they do get the same immersive experience. Further, large projection screens show 2-D images of what the BOOM users are seeing. We also included 3-D sound, using the Acoustitron II by Crystal River Engineering. Scott Foster, the president of the company, worked in our group at NASA Ames With Dr. Beth Wenzel to develop this technology.

We created the exhibit with different options to give people a choice of how interactive and how immersive they wanted to be. If a visitor has only a few minutes, they can watch the screen. If they prefer to wait, they can use the BOOM. With this setup, we can get 80 people a day to use the BOOM, plus 12 times that for the passive viewers. Daily, about 4,000 people can see the exhibit. The whole experience, from start to finish, is about five minutes. Visitors getting into the BOOM first see a 3-D computer-generated model of the old Sapporo brewery, which they can fly around until they eventually arrive at the front door. After entering the brewery, they fly through a huge tank of bubbling beer. A computer-generated tour guide leads them down a long hallway to a large, modern control room, similar to ones in new breweries these days. The control room displays four windows looking out on photorealistic, computer-generated images of the brewing process. Here, the visitor has to choose which of the four processes they wish to see, whether that is brewing, fermentation, filtration or bottling. They look at the desired window, push a button on the BOOM handle, and are pulled out into a microscopic world. The first window represents the brewing process. Viewers travel along with the starches that are broken down into sugars. The second view takes viewers through the fermentation process, where yeasts, used to break down the beer into alcohol, carbon dioxide and other products, bud and create colonies. The third perspective takes the viewer on a roller-coaster ride through the filtration process, which ends with a ceramic filter that blocks yeast and impurities out of the beer. The last window is a surreal interpretation of the bottling process. Lines of bottles float around in space. Beer comes out of nowhere to fill the bottles; at some point, the caps land on the bottle tops. Finally, the Sapporo labels slap onto the bottles.

  "Recent Developments in Virtual Experience Design and Production," SPIE (1995)

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