The conceptual design review process is a critical cost determining step for complex products such as ground vehicles. The use of virtual environments (VEs) in this process has become increasingly popular with the advancement of 3D visualization technologies. Important to feelings experienced by participants in a VE are two parameters: presence and immersion. Presence is defined as the subjective experience of being in one place while physically being situated in another. Immersion is a state characterized by perceiving oneself to be enveloped by, included in, and interacting in an environment that provides a continuous stream of stimuli. While different virtual reality (VR) devices provide different degrees of presence and immersion, the amount of each is also dependent on the individual. In this paper, a relationship among presence, immersive tendencies of individuals, and design comprehension are explored. Further, a methodology to find the best design review process subject to certain criteria is presented. The results of two experiments involving the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment $CAVE™2$ are discussed and evaluated. In one case, the U.S. Army investigates the use of the CAVE as a conceptual design review environment for advanced military vehicles in a comparison test with its present method of concept presentation and review. In a second experiment, CAVE users responded to a survey to determine the potential of VEs to improve design comprehension and immersive tendencies. In both cases, positive presence and immersion results support the idea that VEs offer advantages for conceptual design reviews over more traditional methods.

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