Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Song Zhang


The main goal of this thesis research was to develop the ability to visualize high- quality, three-dimensional (3D) data within a virtual reality head mounted display (HMD). High-quality, 3D data collection has become easier in past years due to the development of 3D scanning technologies such as structured light methods. Structured light scanning and modern 3D data compression techniques have improved to the point at which 3D data can be captured, processed, compressed, streamed across a network, decompressed, reconstructed, and visualized all in near real-time. Now the question becomes what can be done with this live 3D information?

A web application allows for real-time visualization of and interaction with this 3D video on the web. Streaming this data to the web allows for greater ease of access by a larger population. In the past, only two-dimensional (2D) video streaming has been available to the public via the web or installed desktop software.

Commonly, 2D video streaming technologies, such as Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangout, are used to connect people around the world for both business and recreational purposes. As the trend continues in which society conducts itself in online environments, improvements to these telecommunication and telecollaboration technologies must be made as current systems have reached their limitations. These improvements are to ensure that interactions are as natural and as user-friendly as possible.

One resolution to the limitations imposed by 2D video streaming is to stream 3D video via the aforementioned technologies to a user in a virtual reality HMD. With 3D data, improvements such as eye-gaze correction, obtaining a natural angle of viewing, and more can be accomplished. One common advantage of using 3D data in lieu of 2D data is what can be done with it during redisplay. For example, when a viewer moves about their environment in a physical space while on Skype, the 2D image on their computer monitor does not change; however, via the use of an HMD, the user can naturally view and move about their partner in 3D space almost as if they were sitting directly across from them.

With these improvements, increased user perception and level of immersion in the digital world has been achieved. This allows users to perform at an increased level of efficiency in telecollaboration and telecommunication environments due to the increased ability to visualize and communicate more naturally with another human being. This thesis will present some preliminary results which support the notion that users better perceive their environments and also have a greater sense of interpersonal communica- tion when immersed in a 3D video scenario as opposed to a 2D video scenario. This novel technology utilizes high-quality and real-time 3D scanning and 3D compression techniques which in turn allows the user to experience a realistic reconstruction within a virtual reality HMD.


Copyright Owner

Tyler Ray Bell



File Format


File Size

88 pages