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This paper describes the mWorld system that integrates data communication techniques and 3D virtual scene generation tools enabling 3D cooperative design work. A 3D virtual environment with multiuser support is introduced in the framework of an architecture that supports synchronous, asynchronous, and time-dependent communication. The application of such a system can be very wide, such as distributed virtual studios and cooperative CAD/CAM applications. The system allows several users to immerse in the same world space, where they can design a 3D virtual environment or an industrial product, or discuss an architect or urban planning project, cooperatively and from a distance. They may add, modify, or delete objects, change environment attributes, and navigate in the common environment, remotely and interactively. Any change made to the environment by any user is shown to other distant users in the group, since the system provides consistency control over the share data space. The editing access rights of any user to the environment is arbitrated by the system using several token control policies. In addition, they may obtain a 3D virtual scene, an architecture design, or product design elements from remote locations just as if they were local. To aid the collaborative sessions, a parallel audio conferencing tool is available, using the same communication platform.
networked virtual environments, CSCW

A. C. Almeida, J. M. Salles Dias, R. Galli, J. M. Rebordão and C. A. Belo, "mWorld: A Multiuser 3D Virtual Environment," in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 17, no. , pp. 55-65, 1997.
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