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CAVE is a recursive acronym for cave automatic virtual environment. It is an environment created virtually and consists of a cube-shaped room. The walls of this cube-shaped room behave as rear-projection screens. The first CAVE was developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago where Thomas A. DeFanti, Carolina Cruz-Neira and Daniel J. Sandin demonstrated the first CAVE during the SIGGRAPH conference in 1992. CAVE today finds applications in an array of industries including geology, engineering, biology, art, architecture, physics and others.
A CAVE is a virtual reality environment with projectors directed at three to six walls of the cube-shaped room. This is basically a video theater, and the walls are made up of rear-projection screens. In order to see the 3-D graphics thus generated by the CAVE, users need to wear 3-D glasses. Users in the CAVE can see objects floating in the air, walk around them and can get a full, 360° view.
Projectors inside the CAVE are used to display lifelike visuals. An array of software is designed specifically for the CAVE. These include OpenGL Performer, OpenSG and OpenSceneGraph.