Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Res. Consortium, Rm. 36-709, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139
Virtual environments are now receiving a great deal of attention by the R & D community, government agencies, industrial firms, and the press. Although much of this attention can probably best be classified as ``hype,'' there are in fact some truly interesting problems, ideas, and research efforts associated with the creation and application of such environments. These introductory remarks will provide some basic definitions, a brief overview of some of the more important research problems and application areas associated with virtual environments, and an introduction to the four special sessions on virtual environments that are scheduled for this ASA meeting.