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MVIP (Multicast VRML Interchange Protocol) is a peer to peer protocol used to pass information around between users regarding VRML worlds in order to create collaborative virtual enviroments (CVEs). The original MVIP code was based on the VNet code written by Stephen White and Jeff Sonstein.

The Communications Research Centre (CRC) has modified the original VNet code to a peer-to-peer model, using IPV4 multicast. The original MVIP code used RTP on top of IP multicast, and the second generation of MVIP (MVIP-II) uses RTP/I - an adaptation of the RTP protocol for use with distributed interactive media. MVIP uses the External Authoring Interface (EAI) to dynamically change the virtual worlds perceived by users using VRML browsers. The browser used for work with MVIP at CRC is the CRC maintained FreeWRL browser. Both MVIP and FreeWRL are available for Unix/Linux and Max OS X platforms, although some of the peripheral support for MVIP (e.g. Polhemus motion tracking) has only been tested on Linux.

MVIP and MVIP-II have been used for CRC's studies in the area of CVEs. As work on this project progressed, features were added to the MVIP code base as required. The MVIP code has support for, among other things:

  • Proximity based audio
  • Use of a polhemus or ascension tracking system along with VR goggles to control the users's field of view
  • Use of a cyberglove to control a virtual hand model
  • Heads Up Display
  • Avatar gestures
  • Computer controlled avatars (java class controlled)
  • Addition of many objects owned by the avatar into the virtual scene
  • Picking up and dropping objects
  • Mini-map display of all users in the environment
  • Speaker identification via "speaker bubble" over user head, indication in HUD, or indication in mini map
  • Briefcase object which allows users to carry and give out copies of files
  • Joystick navigation
  • Cyberglove "point to move" navigation

    MVIP is an open-source(R) and continually evolving project maintained principally by Sarah Dumoulin at the Communications Research Centre. As such, sections of code tend to be added and tested on an as-needed basis. Should you wish to use MVIP for a project, and are having difficulties getting something working, please contact Sarah directly at sarah.dumoulin@NOSPAMcrc.ca (with the NOSPAM removed).


    If you want to help, please email Sarah Dumoulin - an employee of the Communications Research Centre (CRC), Canada. MVIP is partly produced by employees of CRC, and is released as Open Source to the world community.

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