Virtual Reality: Human Interface to Product Data
Corresponding Author: Hemiö, Tero
Author(s): Hemiö, T. (*), and Katranuschkov, P. (+)
Organisation(s): (*) VTT Building Technology (Finland), (+) CIB, University of Dreseden (Germany) 
Product models are far too complicated for everyday users to browse or edit without a graphical user interface hiding the complexity of the data structure. Public domain virtual reality browser can be used as an interface to a background application capable of launching other applications like CAD programs, word processors, spread sheets and instance editors. All data linked to an instance can be browsed and edited by simply pointing the instance from the VR model and then selecting preferred operation from a popup menu. This enables editing of data in the model itself and editing of all external files linked to the selected instance.

If the product model is accessed through the Internet, VR model provides an ultra light interface to the data. When user makes a request to the server, it automatically generates a new VR model according to specifications in the data model. By downloading the generated VR model, user can select the instance he wants to browse. The actual transfer of data is controlled by the background application, which provides all the functionality required for the connection to the server. Also control over downloaded data, including the capability of launching the required applications for linked files, is provided by this background application.