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Virtual Environments and Imaging Technologies

Activity of the research laboratory

The Laboratory is engaged in the development of new methods of optical radiation measurements, photometry and colorimetry. It works on methods to improve the physiologically and psychologically proper processing of visual information in multimedia and virtual reality applications.
To fulfil these tasks the Laboratory deals with the visually optimal description of optical radiation, with the effects of image perception in virtual environments. An important task in this respect is the investigation of human vision in the mesopic luminance range, the determination of the mesopic spectral luminous efficiency function, the investigation of the phenomenon of “presence” in virtual environments, the study of colour rendering properties of light sources, especially of solid state light sources and the investigation of colour memory. The Laboratory is engaged also in the practical application of above research subjects, thus e.g. the results of the investigations of virtual environments are applied in the rehabilitation of persons with special needs, in the development of software products that can improve their life; results of mesopic photometric investigations can show ways how street lighting can be made more efficient and can contribute to safer use of the roads; the colour rendering investigations show how more efficient and more pleasant lighting can be designed.
Important research areas are the theory and practice of multimedia, virtual reality and “Design for All” (a universal software design that provides for everybody barrier free user surfaces), the Laboratory is partner in several R&D projects, focusing on rehabilitation and education.
The Laboratory participated in all above research areas in several national and international (EU) projects. Based on these an international standard for mesopic vision is under development, but work was done also in an international consortium to develop intelligent automotive headlamps. At present the Laboratory is engaged in four EU projects and a consortium financed by the National Office for Research and Technology to develop a LED street lighting luminaire that provides more safety and is more energy efficient.

Research results

The research achievements of the laboratory span a large circle from basic visual psychophysical findings till the application oriented results of light emitting diodes and the use or virtual environments in rehabilitation and teaching.
In the field of visual fundamentals the following results are of major importance: better description of highly metameric stimuli, especially in case of LEDs, the clarification of fundamental phenomena in mesopic vision, the determination of the spectral glare efficiency of the human observer. Result of the Laboratory got international acceptance and use in the fields of colour rendering, colour preference and colour harmony, just as the results of short term and long term colour memory.
From among the results of the investigations conducted in the field of virtual environments and multimedia we would like to mention the use of these new informatics possibilities in rehabilitation and education, as well as design for all. Results of the Laboratory are used in the rehabilitation of strokes patients, and in the documentation of the rehabilitation progress, programs have been designed and are used in testing WEB pages for their barrier free access.

Introduction of the head

thumb schanda-janosJános Schanda is Professor Emeritus of the University of Pannonia, Hungary. He graduated in physics at the Loránd Eötvös University in Budapest. At the Research Institute for Technical Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences he first dealt with ZnS electro-luminescence, where he wrote his PhD thesis on the “Spectroradiometric Investigation of Electroluminescence”.
The Hungarian Academy of Sciences granted him the degree of “Doctor of Technical Sciences” for his thesis work on colour rendering. He retired from the Institute as Head of the Department of Optics and Electronics and joined the University of Veszprém as professor of informatics. He headed there the Department of Image Processing and Neurocomputing. Since retirement he is Professor Emeritus and advisor for the “Colour and Multimedia Laboratory”, now “Research Laboratory for Virtual Environments and Imaging Technology”.
During the nineteen eighties and nineteen nineties he worked for the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) as its General Secretary and later technical manager. He functioned also in a number of honorary positions of the CIE. At present he is the Vice President Technical of the Commission, chaired and chairs several Technical Committees, among others dealing with fundamentals of photometry, colorimetry and colour rendering. At present he is the President of the Hungarian National Committee of the CIE.
Dr. Schanda is member of the Optical Society of America, of The Society for Imaging Science and Technology and of several Hungarian Societies in the fields of light and lighting and optical measurement.
He is on the editorial / international advisory board of Color Res. & Appl., USA, Lighting Research & Technology, UK and Journal of Light & Visual Environment, Japan. He is author of over 500 technical papers and conference lectures.

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