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Inside iCinema's Advanced Visualisation Interaction Environment (AVIE).


Research into interactive visualisation has worked toward the development of a platform that can explore the kinaesthetic dimensions of virtual reality. However, previous products of experimentation in this area—such as Computer Augmented Virtual Environment technology known as “CAVE”—have not produced an effective solution for aesthetic experimentation and participatory applications.

The Advanced Visualization and Interaction Environment (AVIE) is a world-first, 360-degree interactive system that uses the projection of stereoscopic 3D images to create an invaluable platform for the advancement of immersive visualisation and interactive design. Developed at the iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, COFA, UNSW, the AVIE incorporates ambisonic 3D audio, extending further the immersive capabilities of the space. The standard configuration is a cylindrical projection screen coupled with an infrared vision system that tracks audience location and gesture in an enclosed area. This enables real-time interaction with the virtual space, and AVIE can support up to five users engaging with artificial characters and landscapes in realistic ways.

This unprecedented development in immersive interactive cinema has yielded revolutionary industrial applications. AVIE’s spatial and responsive properties have given rise to a series of advancements in immersive narrative film, and the creation of programs that make use of sophisticated artificial intelligence to create responsive digital entities. AVIE’s potential has been explored in a series of educational exhibits and the technology has featured in a host of curated projects internationally, as well as being installed permanently at the ZKM Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe; City University of Hong Kong; Rensselaer Polytechnic University, New York; and Museum Victoria, Melbourne.

In addition to hosting interactive artworks and educational program, the AVIE has been commercialised for use in virtual reality safety training. It forms an integral part of the training programs developed by Brookfield Multiplex, Mines Rescue Pty Ltd, and the Shenyang Research Institute at the China Coal Technology and Engineering Group (CCTEG)—one of China’s leading safety research centres.

AVIE forms part of the iCASTS suite of interactive technologies that won the Gold International Design Excellence Award presented by the Industrial Designers Society of America in 2009. 

The development of the AVIE as part of the iCASTS project has been supported by the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (DP0345547DP0556659)

Project date

2008 to 2010

Funding type

ARC Discovery Project


Dennis Del Favero

Associate Directors: Non-UNSW
Jeffrey Shaw

Visiting Research Fellow
Ardrian Hardjono

Centre Staff
Volker Kuchelmeister

Matthew McGinity