Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 16th August 2002

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 Rayovac Takes 200,000th Seat of SolidWorks
02 Good News, Bad News for Evans & Sutherland
03 University of Ottawa Visualization Center Completed
04 Lockheed Takes Award for Training
05 On the Web: Superscape in Spain
06 On the Web: canDo in Ireland
07 On the Web: Refocus in Germany

Products & Services
08 General Haptics Open Software Toolkit
09 Character Production Suite

Companies & Markets
10 Autodesk: Staff, Salaries and Income Losses
11 ADVA Amends SEC Filing
12 Support for Christie from SGI
13 Building the Virtual Space

Patents, Standards & Benchmarks
14 SolidWorks versus Inventor - Who is the Winner?
15 Crash Simulation Benchmarking

Worth Watching
16 Displays by Mitsubishi

17 So You Want To Be A Publisher?

Events & Calls for Papers
18 VR World Congress V
19 PRESENCE 2002
21 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002
22 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
23 SIGGRAPH 2003

204.01 Rayovac Takes 200,000th Seat of SolidWorks

One of the world's largest battery and lighting manufacturers, Rayovac Corp, has purchased the 200,000th seat of SolidWorks software shipped since 1995. During that time, SolidWorks has helped 25,000 companies around the world enhance designs, speed products to market, and avoid costly production errors. It has also helped students at more than 4,000 educational institutions worldwide ramp up on 3D CAD technology. Rayovac uses SolidWorks to design everything from batteries and lighting products (such as flashlights) to packaging for its consumer products and the equipment that manufactures those products. Rayovac is using SolidWorks COSMOS/Works to analyze the structural integrity of its designs and PDM/Works to manage all of the design data it generates. SolidWorks reseller Graphics Systems Corp provides Rayovac with software training and support.

URL: http://www.solidworks.com

204.02 Good News, Bad News for Evans & Sutherland

Evans & Sutherland's EP-1000CT visual system has been selected by KLM for a new Boeing 777 flight simulator to be installed at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. The simulator is to be manufactured by Thales Training & Simulation Ltd. This latest order brings the total number of firm orders received by Evans & Sutherland for EP-1000CT to date to eight.

URL: http://www.es.com

In its quarterly report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Evans & Sutherland said it wasn't in compliance with a covenant under its loan from Foothill Capital Corp. The credit facility provides for borrowings and the issuance of letters of credit up to $30 million. As of June 28, the company had $14.9 million of outstanding borrowings and $5 million in outstanding letters of credit under the facility. Evans & Sutherland needs to replace the facility before December 14, 2002.

204.03 University of Ottawa Visualization Center Completed

Mechdyne has completed a large-scale visualization facility, an MD Flex, for the University of Ottawa, Canada. University personnel and students will use the system for multidisciplinary research, including studies relating to engineering, health sciences, education, and fine arts. The University's MD Flex features three 10' x 9' vertical panels that can be configured as a fully immersive walk-in environment, an angled, interactive theater, or a single, flat display wall. An SGI Onyx 3400 with InfiniteReality3 graphics generates 2D and 3D images, which are projected onto the walls by three CRT projectors and one LCD projector, immersing users in the virtual environment. A five-channel audio system enhances the users' sense of immersion, and a control system allows complete control of the facility's many components from a single touch pad.

URL: http://www.mechdyne.com

204.04 Lockheed Takes Award for Training

The Department of Defense recently selected the U.S. Air Force's Theater Aerospace Command and Control Simulation Facility as winner in the training category of the fourth annual Modeling and Simulation Awards. Lockheed Martin Information Systems is the prime contractor for the Facility. The Theater Aerospace Command and Control Simulation Facility was recognized for its role in Desert Pivot, the first Department of Defense recurring, multi-service simulation training event that provides live, constructive and virtual training in a realistic, weeklong exercise.

URL: http://www.lockheedmartin.com

204.05 On the Web: Superscape in Spain

Joan Pujol of Superscape RTZ writes about Arsvirtual, a portal of Spanish heritage developed by RTZ. The "last" world, Sagrada Familia, is said to be particularly impressive.

URL: http://www.arsvirtual.com

204.06 On the Web: canDo in Ireland

Virtual 3D car showrooms, 3D DNA viewers, 3D games using real physics, online marketing technology... interactive watches, customisable 3D Mini Cooper... a macromolecular structure viewer that streams 3D DNA data directly from the main Protein Data Bank in the USA into a Shockwave 3D environment. canDo is based in Ireland.

URL: http://www.candomultimedia.com

204.07 On the Web: Refocus in Germany

Refocus has launched a "VR - Resource" with links, galleries, tutorials and more in German, English, French and Spanish. Registered users will have the ability to upload their own panoramas, to vote for other VR's, download or send an eCard.

URL: http://vr.refocus.de

204.08 General Haptics Open Software Toolkit

SensAble has announced the availability of GHOST (General Haptics Open Software Toolkit) Version 4 which provides support for the Red Hat Linux, Windows XP and the AMD Athlon platforms. The GHOST SDK reduces the time and effort required for developers to touch-enable their applications. The core "physics engine" takes care of complex computations leaving developers to concentrate on physical properties like locations, mass, friction and hardness.

URL: http://www.sensable.com

204.09 Character Production Suite

BioVirtual has announced a professional multimedia version of their 3D character production suite - 3DMeNow Designer. 3DMeNow Designer builds on perimeter-based photo alignment and WYSIWYG animation editing tools with an upgrade, aimed at populating the web with truly realistic, as well as intelligent and entertaining 3D human avatar content.

URL: http://www.biovirtual.com/3DMeNowDesigner

204.10 Autodesk: Staff, Salaries and Income Losses

Autodesk Inc.'s net income slipped 39% in its fiscal second quarter with an 8.6% drop in revenue. Autodesk cut its fiscal full-year earnings forecast. The software maker late Thursday reported net income of $11.8 million for the quarter ended July 31, compared with income of $19.2 million a year earlier. In July, company officials took pay cuts and froze the employees salaries as it tries to reduce expenses. Ms. Bartz didn't receive a raise this year; her $850,000 salary has been reduced by 20% from August through the end of January. The company also plans to dismiss 250 workers, about 7% of the company's work force.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com

204.11 ADVA Amends SEC Filing

ADVA International Inc has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission an amended version of Form 10KSB/A for the year ended March 31, 2002 to report certain information regarding consultant agreements, ADVA Directors and other "Company" matters. ADVA, through its wholly owned subsidiary Global Information Group USA, Inc., intends to develop and market a 3D solid modeling, animation and rendering system and CAD visualization applications software running on the LINUX and UNIX operating systems. The Company plans to re-introduce a UNIX-based product in fiscal year 2003, particularly targeting the CAD visualization niche of the 3D graphics market.

204.12 Support for Christie from SGI

SGI is now providing first-line customer support for Christie's Mirage stereoscopic DLP projectors that are sold for SGI Reality Center solutions. SGI service support includes call receipt and management, diagnose before dispatch, telephone support, and hardware support. Customers could benefit from faster service delivery because they would not need to call multiple vendors. Introduced to the market in early 2001, Christie's Mirage projectors incorporate DLP technology. Christie offers stereoscopic DLP projectors with varying brightness levels (from 2,000 to 10,000 ANSI lumens of brightness) and both XGA and SXGA resolution. Recent additions to the Mirage line, the Mirage 4000 and Mirage 6000, incorporate the "dark-metal" 3-chip DLP by Texas Instruments for improved black level and contrast ratio.

URL: http://www.sgi.com/realitycenter
URL: http://wwwchristiedigital.com

204.13 Building the Virtual Space

en.red.ando is organizing a one day conference on Next Generation Information Technology for a third consecutive year. The subject of this year's conference is "Building the Virtual Space." The conference will take place in Barcelona on October 25, 2002. Guest speakers include: Doctor Patricia Wallace, Director of Information Technology and Distance Programming at Johns Hopkins University, The Centre for Talented Youth, and author of the book 'The Psychology of Internet' ; Luis Ángel Fernández Hermana, director of en.red.ando and developer of en.medi@, a technology for online-Knowledge Management; Feng-Kwei Wang, Doctor of Instructional Systems Technology and assistant professor in the School of Information Science, Learning and Technology at the University of Missouri (Columbia) and Daniel J. Sandin, Director of the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), professor in the Art and Design School at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) and an adjunct professor at the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications who will talk about relationships between work groups in a virtual reality environment.

The conference will focus on how the brain behaves in the virtual environment and on how to organise these spaces in such a way that they facilitate cognitive and learning processes. In addition it will take a look at how to generate knowledge on the Net through group work and the technology needed to do this. en.red.ando's III One Day Conference will also have an online phase for reflection and debate.

URL: http://enredando.com
URL: http://encampus.enredando.com
URL: http://www.gc-red.com
URL: http://jornada.enredando.com/3jornada/eng/IIIjornada/index.cfm

204.14 SolidWorks versus Inventor - Who is the Winner?

Autodesk Inventor won against Dassault's SolidWorks software in a head-to-head "shoot-out" co-hosted by the Silicon Valley AutoCAD Power Users (SVAPU) and the Marin AutoCAD Users Group. The event poised two competitors--one using Autodesk Inventor and the other using SolidWorks--to perform the same tasks simultaneously. "It was a real competition with competent users, unknown factors and real world scenarios. It was clear nothing was staged and the users came in blind," said Richard Byle, senior mechanical designer for the Imaging Products Division of Bio-Rad Laboratories and an active SolidWorks user. Both SolidWorks and Autodesk were invited to participate, however only Autodesk sent a representative. The six rounds of the competition included: converting AutoCAD 2D to 3D. "Many manufacturing companies are looking to move from 2D to 3D," said Robert Kross, vice president of the Manufacturing Division at Autodesk.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com

204.15 Crash Simulation Benchmarking

SGI and ESI Group are claiming new industry performance levels in crash simulation using the latest generation SGI supercomputer, the SGI Origin 3000 series server, and ESI Group's PAM-CRASH 2001 distributed memory parallel version, a crash-test simulation software application. In simulation tests conducted by the SGI and ESI Group team, sustained performance of 19 GFLOPS was achieved using an SGI Origin 3000 series server with 126 MIPS R14000 processors at 600 MHz. This represents exceptional computing power and the highest performance level achieved for PAM-CRASH in a crash simulation, beating the 12 GFLOPS sustained performance reached in October 2000 using an SGI Origin server and PAM-CRASH 2000 distributed memory parallel version on a BMW model.

Performing the same simulation of a vehicle frontal crash cruising at 35 miles per hour, the vehicle model contained 120,000 elements with 117,500 contact segments split into 11 contact interfaces. A simulation of 70 microseconds of real time requiring about 58,000 time cycles ran in about 13 minutes, meaning a solution time of 0.114 ms per element/per cycle.

URL: http://www.sgi.com/industries/manufacturing/
URL: http://www.esi-group.com/

204.16 Worth Watching: Displays by Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Vision Systems has sold 18 of its amber LED transportable modules to Information & Display Systems Inc (IDS) of Florida. This marks the first major sale for the Diamond Vision product, which debuted as an IBM-sponsored display at the Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, UK in June 2002. The transportable module is a 6-mm amber LED display, and measures 7-feet 6-inches x 15-feet when modules are used in a three-module high by six-module wide configuration. The cabinets may be either hung or stacked, and have been designed and tested for outdoor use. The controller enables them to deal with a large amount of statistical information and change the format, font sizes, and other content sources including graphics and animation, giving them greater range of flexibility. Most monochrome displays only have 256 gray levels, but the Diamond Vision amber display has 1,024 levels of gray to offer higher contrast than other screens in its class, and can show great detail in graphic images and photographs.

URL: http://www.diamond-vision.com

204.17 So You Want To Be A Publisher?

Red Herring's chief executive has said the company's staff level would drop from 70 people to fewer than 50 people. According to Publishers Information Bureau, Red Herring's advertising pages and revenue for January through June of this year are down 74%. Meanwhile Ziff Davis Media Inc., one of the largest publishers of technology magazines including PC Magazine, has completed a financial restructuring that will allow it to avoid filing for bankruptcy protection. Earlier this year, Ziff Davis's auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, raised doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern. For the nine months ended Dec. 31, 2001, Ziff had a loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $30.4 million.

204.00 Events & Calls for Papers

204.18 VR World Congress V

VR World Congress V will be held in Paris, France on September 9th and 10th, 2002. Professor Bob Stone, Chairman for VR World Congress V, will be available to discuss the report "Human-Centred Design Processes in Virtual Environments: Methodologies and Real-Life Case Studies." The report prepared by Virtual Presence has four aims:

1. Clarify the relationship between interactive 3D or Virtual Reality (i3D/VR) and other forms of Synthetic Environments (SEs).
2: Overcome some of the myths associated traditionally with VR (particularly related to certain technology implementations and costs).
3: Analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with i3D/VR.
4: Describe case studies that support the case for i3D/VR including examples supporting concept definition, engineering and design, test and evaluation, in-service support (eg. maintenance) and training.

The report stresses the fact that desktop VR (conventional keyboard, mouse and screen) and basic forms of video-projected VR deliver sufficient interactivity for up to 85% 0f i3D/VR applications. The need to introduce more sophisticated interface technologies, such as "immersion" (using head-mounted display technology), must be accompanied by a focused human factors analysis to judge whether or not the human's task actually warrants this form of interface. Indeed, to this end and within a separate section, the report considers the importance of adopting human-centred principles in the design of advanced user interfaces. Copies of the report may be requested from Professor Stone at VR World Congress V.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

Email to check the availability of places at VR World Congress V.

204.19 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002

ACM Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002: Bonn, Germany - September 30-October 2, 2002. CVE 2002 is a conference dedicated to the design, development and use of collaborative virtual environments (CVEs).

URL: http://www.cve2002.org/

204.20 PRESENCE 2002

PRESENCE 2002, Portugal on October 9-11, 2002

URL: http://www.presence-research.org


Co-located with IEEE Visualization 2002 are InfoVis 2002, the IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, and VolVis 2002, the IEEE/SIGGRAPH Symposium on Volume Visualization and Graphics. Boston, Massachusetts, USA - October 27 - November 1, 2002.

URL: http://vis.computer.org/vis2002
URL: http://www.infovis.org/infovis2002
URL: http://www.cs.sunysb.edu/~volvis02/

204.22 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics

2003 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics: California, USA - April 27 to 30, 2003. Papers Deadline: 15 September 2002

URL: http://movesinstitute.org/I3D.html
URL: http://siggraph.org/i3d

204.23 SIGGRAPH 2003

ACM SIGGRAPH is dedicated to the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques: San Diego, California, USA - July 27-31, 2003 (Early abstracts & proposals by October 31, 2002).

URL: http://www.siggraph.org

For extensive information about events relevant to the European VR/i3D community, see the events pages on El.pub: for Europe: base05.htm, for the rest of the world: connone.htm

About VREfresh news
Each edition of virtual reality news is now published on a separate page, ensuring that links (particularly from VREfresh) continue to remain current. To view news from previous issues, please use the navigation buttons below.
Email alerter of news items and associated URLs, send an email with your name, organisation, country (and for the US a zip code) to the Editor via the link above.
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