Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 19th June 2003

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 Highest-Resolution Graphics yet in a Digital Planetarium
02 Panorama Visual Displays for Helicopter Simulators
03 CAE Uses JVC Cameras in Helicopter Simulation
04 Infinity Cubes for US AFRL/VACD
05 RadioShack Division Selects Motion Capture
06 President Moves to 3D
07 Machine Manufacturer Moves to 3D Design

Products & Services
08 Tracking in Smaller Volumes
09 Polhemus Tracking in the UK
10 Character Animation into 3ds Max

Companies & Markets
11 3D Engine in Mobile Phones
12 RPC Support for ADT 2004
13 New Graphics Website

14 Actify Appoints President/CEO

Worth Watching
15 3D in Security Scanning
16 Microsoft TV Foundation Edition

Events & Calls for Papers

2301.01 Highest-Resolution Graphics yet in a Digital Planetarium

The new Gates Planetarium in the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has opened and is taking visitors on an immersive solar system voyage featuring the highest-resolution graphics yet presented in a digital planetarium. Powered by SGI visualization technologies, the planetarium lets the audience fly through outer space to experience awe-inspiring close-up views of some of the most remarkable objects in the universe. The graphics data for the planetarium's opening show, "Gates Planetarium: A Cosmic Journey", is drawn from the Cosmic Atlas, a database of the cosmos created by the museum. The database includes billions of stars and all the planets, moons, rings, comets, asteroids and even man-made objects in the solar system, which total more than 250,000. The museum spent three years developing its database and presentation software. The presentation is driven by a 30-processor SGI Onyx 3800 with 11 InfiniteReality4 graphics subsystems, the largest number of such pipes ever used for any visualization system. The Gates is thought to be the first planetarium to use a digital light processing (DLP) projection system. In a 125-seat theater with a 164-degree field of view and a 25-degree tilt angle, the audience sits in reclining seats to view images featuring a resolution of more than 12 million pixels, displayed on the 57-foot dome by 11 edge-blended projectors.

URL: http://www.sgi.com

230.02 Panorama Visual Displays for Helicopter Simulators

CAE and SEOS have won a contract to provide the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) with two 11-foot Panorama visual displays for its new Super Lynx 300 Mk120 helicopter simulators. The cross-cockpit collimated Panorama displays will provide an image up to 200°H x 60°V (+20/-40). SEOS was awarded the contract by CAE following the recent successful installation of an identical system on a Sikorsky S-76 simulator. The two fixed-base mission simulators will feature the latest CAE Medallion family visual system, which will support both night vision goggle (NVG) and Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR) training for the helicopter aircrews. The mission simulators, scheduled for delivery in 2004, will simulate the integrated glass cockpit of the Super Lynx helicopter as well as sensors and avionics. One of the systems will be flown to CAE Montreal, Canada for interfacing with the simulator structure and the second system will go directly to Oman and be integrated on site.

URL: http://www.seos.com

230.03 CAE Uses JVC Cameras in Helicopter Simulation

CAE simulator training facilities based at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, England have recently installed JVC CCTV cameras, model TK-C1480BE in two Royal Navy Lynx Mk8 helicopter simulator systems, a full mission simulator and a procedural trainer. VCL provided the JVC cameras to installer, Telstar Communications, who designed and integrated the cameras to be directly linked and operated by a host computer. The Lynx Mk8 full mission simulator, manufactured by CAE in Montreal at a cost of £16M, was installed at RNAS Yeovilton. It features a 7 channel Maxvue visual system with terrain databases of the UK, Scandinavia and the Gulf, as well as 60 different ship and aircraft models. The complete facility comprises 4 simulators that are available for the Royal Navy to train their Lynx aircrew for 12 hours each day.

URL: http://www.jvcproeurope.com

230.04 Infinity Cubes for US AFRL/VACD

SEOS has received an order from SGI Federal to provide the US AFRL/VACD (the Control Simulation and Assessment branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory Air Vehicles Directorate) with two Infinity Cube systems, the latest addition to the SEOS collimated display range. The Infinity Cube is a modular configuration of Infinity Windows, which provide a near seamless multi-channel, collimated "dome" display in a compact space. In addition to large fields of view, the Infinity Cube allows realistic depth perception and the use of standard unmodified Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS) and aircraft HUD's. Further, as the display is collimated, there are no head motion parallax errors of the type associated with the small multi faceted rear projection display system alternatives.

URL: http://www.seos.com

230.05 RadioShack Division Selects Motion Capture

The Circle R Group Broadcast Communications Division of consumer electronic retailer RadioShack has selected Ascension Technology's MotionStar Wireless to provide motion capture for internal use as well as agency clients and corporations nationwide. According to Ed Delaney, Senior Director of Broadcast, the decision to go with MotionStar was based on the system's capabilities and onsite training. The motion capture system will soon be finding a more permanent home in the center's new Mocap Studio. There, outside clients and internal producers will be able to bring their actors in to perform a motion capture session. They will then have the option of taking the data with them to create their own spot or having the in-house 3D graphics department create it for them.

URL: http://www.ascension-tech.com

230.06 President Moves to 3D

President Office Furniture is using SolidWorks software to design the award-winning, stylized office furniture it sells throughout Europe. With SolidWorks as its primary 3D mechanical design tool, President accelerates design development for its custom desks, tabletops, divider screens, file cabinets, shelves, and credenzas. "We switched to 3D CAD because we needed to develop new products faster, and more accurately than with 2D," said Tim O'Brien, managing director at President.

URL: http://www.president.co.uk
URL: http://www.solidworks.com

230.07 Machine Manufacturer Moves to 3D Design

Kern AG, one of the world's leading manufacturers of inserting machines and document processing equipment, has switched to SolidWorks 3D mechanical design software to design all of its products. The Guinness Book of World Records has officially recognized Kern AG as producer of the world's fastest inserting system, a machine capable of filling 26,000 envelopes per hour. Headquartered in Konolfingen near Bern, Switzerland, Kern AG is switching from its previous 2D design software to SolidWorks. In the future, Kern AG expects SolidWorks to support the production of spare part catalogs and streamlined data exchange between engineering, production, and suppliers. In fact, one Kern AG subcontractor has already purchased SolidWorks, eliminating time wasted recreating designs from scratch in different CAD formats.

URL: http://www.kern.ch
URL: http://www.solidsolutions.ch
URL: http://www.soidworks.com

230.08 Tracking in Smaller Volumes

The IR optical tracking camera, ARTtrack2, is now available for tracking in smaller volumes. With built-in IR flash the camera tracks retro-reflecting targets up to distances of more than three meters. Like ARTtrack1, the new system works with DTrack software and provides precise and wireless 6dof tracking for AR/VR applications.

URL: http://www.ar-tracking.de

230.09 Polhemus Tracking in the UK

Polhemus distributor in the UK, Virtalis is launching a new six Degree Of Freedom (DOF) tracking product line. Liberty has 240 Hz per sensor and its GUI makes it intuitive, whilst scalability and improved signal to noise ratios increase stability and resolution. Each Liberty sensor is able to independently detect distortion within the environment, alerting the user to make appropriate changes if necessary. Resolution is better than 0.001 inch and 0.01 degrees. Absolute accuracy is better than 0.03 inches RMS for the X, Y and Z position and 0.15 degrees RMS for rotation. Latency is less than four milliseconds for all sensors simultaneously. Range is in excess of five feet and can be substantially extended with the use of an optional transmitter. The Polhemus Liberty series joins the FASTRAK and ISOTRAK II, in the company's stable of tracking products.

URL: http://www.vrweb.com
URL: http://www.polhemus.com

230.10 Character Animation into 3ds Max

Reiss Studio, in cooperation with Curious Labs, the publisher of Poser, has developed and released BodyStudio 2.0 for Windows. BodyStudio seamlessly integrates Poser 3D character animation technology into Discreet 3ds max. This plug-in software allows Poser users to render and playback Poser animations directly inside of 3ds max. Artists that work with 3D software should notice improvements that have been made from the original version of the Pro Pack plug-in for 3ds max. BodyStudio is available at the introductory price of $179.00.

URL: http://www.reiss-studio.com
URL: http://www.curiouslabs.com

230.11 3D Engine in Mobile Phones

HI Corporation of Japan and XCE Corporation in Korea have decided to supply a 3D polygon engine called "Mascot Capsule Engine Micro3D Edition" for the "GIGA Project" series of mobile phones which were formally released by SKT Corporation last month. This engine will become the first 3D engine to be formally embedded in mobile phones in South Korea. HI Corporation and XCE Corporation are combining to develop entertainment content to make full use of the capabilities of this 3D engine for gradual release from the sale start scheduled day of a GIGA phone.

URL: http://www.sktelecom.com
URL: http://www.hicorp.co.jp
URL: http://www.xce.co.kr

230.12 RPC Support for ADT 2004

ArchVision, Inc has announced RPC (Rich Photorealistic Content) support in Autodesk's Architectural Desktop 2004. ADT 2004 includes the latest RPC Plug-in technology via its content browser free of charge for ADT users. Thousands of visualization designers around the world use RPC because it provides a way to represent complex objects in computer visualization projects without relying on polygonal geometry. Famous for photorealistic people, trees, and automobiles; ArchVision delivers more than 50 libraries of 2D, 2.5D, 3D, and 3.5D content to make it easy to drop life-like entourage into renderings through ADT's VIZ Render visualization enhancement.

URL: http://www.archvision.com/adt

230.13 New Graphics Website

REALVIZ has a new corporate website. The site, available in English and French, incorporates a range of graphics provided by REALVIZ software users worldwide.

URL: http://www.realviz.com

230.14 People: Actify Appoints President/CEO

Actify has appointed Randy Ochs as president and Chief Executive Officer. Mr Ochs brings over 20 years of experience in field operations, sales management and marketing in CAD/CAM, supply chain management and product lifecycle management (PLM) to Actify's new strategy.

URL: http://www.actify.com

230.15 Worth Watching: 3D in Security Scanning

Stereoscopic display equipment from Virtalis is being used to view real-time, 3D pictures of baggage. The system, AXIS-3D, is a new generation of X-Ray machine and is currently undergoing trials at London's Heathrow Airport. Developed by Image Scan, the AXIS-3D represents a shift from traditional baggage scanning equipment. The Company's technical director, Simon Godber explained: "X-rays contain only 2D information, but the AXIS-3D stereoscopic X-ray system introduces a second view and therefore, by optimizing the geometry and software to match the requirements of the human eye and brain, allows the airport screening staff to more clearly determine the shape of an object and its relationship to other objects within an inspected item of luggage. Application requirements dictate that stereoscopic viewing is available throughout the passage of the luggage through the X-ray system, so we have created a 3D display which pans in real-time. The Stereographics stereoscopic display uses an active modulator and passive, low-cost, glasses."

URL: http://www.vrweb.com
URL: http://www.ish.co.uk

230.16 Worth Watching: Microsoft TV Foundation Edition

Microsoft has launched a software platform for cable-TV operators, with a view to developing content and services for the digital-TV market. "Microsoft TV Foundation Edition" software will run on digital set-top boxes as well as cable-company servers. It will enable network operators to package such services as pay-per-view, video on demand (VOD), interactive program guides and options for purchasing content, including games, news and sports.

230.00 Events

For details of the following events, click here.

June 24-25: VR World Congress VI, Luxembourg
July 10-11: Vision, Video and Graphics 2003, Bath, UK
July 14-18: CREATE, New York, USA
July 27 - 31: Siggraph 2003, San Diego, California, USA
September 1-6: Eurographics 2003, Granada, Spain
September 15-17: IVA 2003, Germany
October 15-17: VSMM 2003, Montreal, Canada

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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