When Ted Hall started working with 3D programming in 1980, it was still a painstaking process to render a single line onscreen, let alone create a full-fledged 3D environment.
"It wasn't anything that I would call virtual reality," Hall says. "That was absolute science-fiction when I started, and now gamers take it for granted. It has changed a lot in the last 30 years, and it will change exponentially in the next 30 years."
One of the most remarkable signs of that change sits in a backroom at the University of Michigan 3D Lab, where Hall works as an advanced visualization specialist. The Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus, or MIDEN, projects three walls of a highly realistic 3D environment that reacts in real time to viewers' movements within the virtual reality.