Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 15th November 2001

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Seen at Comdex
01 EZvr
02 RevoPix Zoom
03 Binocular Stereo Rangefinder
04 Scanner and See & Feel
05 Browse3D Browser
06 DesignCAD 3D Max
07 Virtual Keyboard
08 Annexon (University of Nottingham)

Users, Applications & Projects
09 Visualization of Engineering Simulations
10 Virtual Exhibition Expands
11 VR in Dubai
12 Grid for Visualization
13 Collaborative Visualization Grid

Products & Services
14 Magnetic Motion Trackers
15 Mechanical Parts Library
16 Molecular Visualization

Companies & Markets
17 VirtualDesign Network

Appointments & Opportunities
18 Sponsored PhD

Worth Watching
19 Technical Community College

Events & Calls for Papers

175.01 Seen at Comdex

EZvr, a photographic system that creates 3D movies by photographing vertically and horizontally.
URL: http://www.intvim.com/ezvr.asp

Humandream's RevoPix Zoom converts a high resolution image into smaller pieces that are easily transferable over the Internet. As the user zooms into and pans around the image, more details of the original image are requested and displayed by the viewer.
URL: http://www.revopix.com

The 3D Binocular Stereo Rangefinder is a compact 3D camera system that provides a real time reconstruction of 3D space from a pair of video images.
URL: http://www.jnhtech.com

A 3D scanner importing and editing images using 3dmax and See & Feel, a 3D face carving system.
URL: http://www4dculture.com

The Browse3D Browser transforms a standard two-dimensional browser into a functional three-dimensional tool. With the Browse3D Browser, users can find and view multiple Web pages simultaneously in a three-walled display and save Web pages as active or static information in "sticky rooms" to refer to them later or send them to colleagues and friends. Dial-up users can speed up the Internet by pre-fetching pages to be visually displayed while still viewing content on the current page. Web site designers can present users with multiple prioritized Web pages that are simultaneously viewable. The ability to "stick" these pages in a room and refer back to them saves searching and back clicks.
URL: http://www.browse3d.com

DesignCAD 3D Max provides 2D drafting and 3D modeling from less than $300.
URL: http://www.upperspace.com

Sweden's Senseboard Technologies introduced their Virtual Keyboard designed for the millions of mobile computer users who are touch typists and struggle with their tiny, cumbersome, or nonexistent keyboards. Placed in the palms of one's hands, this text entry technology enables its user to type without the physical limitations of a keyboard. Senseboard integrates sensor technology with an artificial neural network (ANN). Based on the QWERTY touch-typing model, the Virtual Keyboard detects movement when fingers are pressed down on a surface area. The movements are measured and the device determines the intended keystrokes or mouse movements. With the help of Bluetooth technology, the information is then transferred wirelessly to the computer where a word processing program analyzes and interprets the signals into readable text. The company works in close cooperation with partners that include Uppsala University and Malardalen University.
URL: http://www.senseboard.com

Annexon, a spin-out from the University of Nottingham in the UK, showcased innovation and technology transfer and research projects as well as commercial exploitation of mixed and virtual realities focusing on opportunities in cultural heritage. Demonstrations included the "Robin Hood" medieval castle and the BAFTA award nominated Desert Rain project.
URL: http://www.annexeon.co.uk
URL: http://www.cimi.nottingham.ac.uk

175.09 Visualization of Engineering Simulations

SNECMA, one of the world's leading aerospace companies, has purchased 30 floating licenses of CEI's EnSight Gold software. The sale was made by CEI's French distributor, SIMULOG. SNECMA purchased the software for use by all engineering groups in all SNECMA companies for visualization of all engineering simulations including CFD, combustion and thermal analysis. SNECMA has two core businesses: propulsion and equipment. The company provides a wide array of engines for both air and space, from plasma thrusters developing just eight grams of thrust, to solid rocket motors delivering well over a million pounds of thrust. SNECMA also applies all propulsion technologies needed for commercial transports, fighters, military training and transport aircraft, helicopter, launch vehicles, strategic and tactical missiles, satellites and other spacecraft. SNECMA's air and space products include landing gear, braking systems, wheels and brakes, engine nacelles, thrust reversers and power transmissions, control systems, space mechanisms and thermostructural composites.

175.10 Virtual Exhibition Expands

This years Virtual GITEX was launched on October 7th 2001 in association with Dubai World Trade Centre as an accompaniment to their internationally recognized GITEX Exhibition. Visitor numbers have already surpassed those of last years Virtual Gitex, this year the virtual exhibition gained nearly 1,000 visitors within the first day. The first two weeks of the virtual exhibition have brought 2,200 unique registrations with 5,600 visits to stands in the 3D Virtual Show. The virtual show has managed to attract a diverse range of visitors from all over the world. Nearly 60 percent registering came from the U.A.E, 30 per cent from other countries around the Middle East and the remaining coming from as far and wide as Singapore and Canada. The Microsoft stand alone, has had over 450 visitors already.

Each of these visitors has been logged via the tracking system, enabling Microsoft to contact them immediately. Other virtual exhibitors include Compaq, Emirates.net and Sanyo. The virtual show also comes with the added bonus of the "Chat" facility; this has proved extremely popular with visitors. Not only are they able to chat to others with the same interests, they are able to chat with those exhibitors online, getting immediate answers to their questions. Virtex International is hoping to continue the success with the Virtual Air Show and Virtual Motor Show launching in November.

URL: http://www.virtexinternational.com

175.11 VR in Dubai

Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has taken up the opportunity to digitize their premises including a soon to be built, conference centre that is set to house the IMF 2003 event. The animation will be for use on CD-Rom and will include the VR environments of the new buildings. The Hyatt Corporation has also signed a contract with Virtex to produce an animation and VR environment, of the Grand Hyatt Dubai, which is scheduled to open in 2002.

URL: http://www.virtexinternational.com

175.12 Grid for Visualization

At Comdex IBM and Sun Microsystems were both talking about becoming more involved with distributed computing which harnesses idle PC power. IBM is to evaluate Entropia's software as part of its grid efforts. Grid computing is an approach by which the Internet or dedicated networks are used to interconnect a wide variety of geographically distributed computational resources, such as supercomputers, computer clusters, storage systems, and visualization systems, and present them as a single, unified resource. Sun has announced an alliance with The Globus Project. Meanwhile SGI has concluded an experiment in long-distance visual serving. The demonstration featured the SGI Visual Serving environment based on SGI OpenGL Vizserver and was conducted June through August 2001 using CANARIE's (Canada's advanced Internet development organization) high-bandwidth network, CA*net3, which stretches across Canada.

Visual Serving solutions from SGI give networked users of desktop systems the ability to interact visually with remote SGI Onyx 3000 series visualization systems. Visual serving is a key component of SGI's grid computing solutions that make data, computation power and visualization universally available via the grid. The results reconfirmed that graphics generated on an SGI Onyx family system in Montreal could be accessed interactively on desktop workstations located in Calgary in a manner truly beneficial to long-distance users. This enhanced networking capability will be a key element in a $30 million expansion of BIC to link with other institutions within the Montreal Consortium for Brain Imaging Research (MCBIR). The BIC, a leader in brain imaging research was established in 1984 at the Montreal Neurological Institute, a McGill-affiliated research institute. Part of the MCBIR vision is the creation of a 3D image database accessible by the global brain imaging research community.

URL: http://www.bic.mni.mcgill.ca.
URL: http://www.sgi.com
URL: http://www.canarie.ca/

175.13 Collaborative Visualization Grid

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the Cosmology Laboratory at Cambridge University are demonstrating the power of collaborative visualization grid technologies using SGI Origin and Onyx family systems. The COSMOS project, led by Professor Stephen Hawking at the University of Cambridge, uses high-performance computing and advanced visualization systems to compare satellite observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) with theoretical simulations of matching resolution to characterize the fundamental nature of the perturbations from which the structure of our universe was formed. Visual serving unlocks the power of the grid for visualization so users anywhere can interact with the results of supercomputing calculations by greatly expanding access to scientific visualizations, thereby increasing productivity for both local and remote users.

SGI has been demonstrating Virtual Director running in real time with the collaborators from Cambridge and NCSA demonstrating fly-throughs of filamentary data sets showing Lyman-alpha gas clouds and galaxies. Other visualizations illustrate perturbations in the Cosmic Microwave Background used to determine the formation of our universe. Virtual Director runs at all three sites, allowing researchers at each site to discuss and interact with the data simulation.

URL: http://www.sgi.com

175.14 Magnetic Motion Trackers

Ascension Technology has released the pciBIRD, part of a new generation of Ascension magnetic motion trackers. The pciBIRD is designed for PC users across a spectrum of applications. Using a PCI Bus interface, this tracker offers functionality for imaging applications. It produces accurate motion data for real-time interaction with the latest PC software programs in simulation, VR, CAD, biomechanics, medicine, 3D pointing and visual analysis. Similar to its predecessor, pciBIRD is a six degrees-of-freedom tracker on a PC card. It measures the position and orientation of one or more sensors in a pulsed DC magnetic field generated by a base unit transmitter. The pciBIRD dedicates a separate processor for each sensor, with each processor making up to 144 measurements per second.

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

175.15 Mechanical Parts Library

EMT Software is shipping a new release of SolidMech, a mechanical parts library for SolidWorks 2000, 2001 and 2001 Plus. Version 3.3 features millions of new mechanical parts plus a new method for downloading parts from for use directly in SolidWorks.

URL: http://www.partsworks.com

175.16 Molecular Visualization

TGS has released the amiraDeconv module to the amira product line. The amiraDeconv module adds tools for molecular visualization to the existing amira platform. The amira product is a 3D visualization and modeling system that mkes it possible to visualize scientific data sets from various application areas; for example medicine, biology, chemistry, physics, or engineering. It also allows 3D objects to be represented as grids suitable for numerical simulations, notably as triangular surface and volumetric tetrahedral grids. amira provides methods to generate such grids from voxel data representing an image volume, and it includes a general-purpose interactive 3D viewer. amiraDeconv is a module of the amira visualization system.

URL: http://www.indeed3d.com

175.17 VirtualDesign Network

The VirtualDesign Network is a global, interactive collaboration environment created for working professionals in a wide variety of endeavors. For its initial market offering, the VirtualDesign Network provides browser-based, real-time collaborative workspaces for individuals and companies working in the architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing fields. Virtual-WorkSpaces features: multi-point videoconferencing, calendaring and scheduling, file sharing and data transfer, real-time viewing of 3D files with markup and annotation.

URL: http://www.virtualdesign.net

175.18 Appointments & Opportunities

The Visualisation Research Group, Department of Computer Science, University of Durham has a three year EPSRC CASE studentship for a PhD sponsored by Sharp Laboratories of Europe for "Advanced Software Technologies for Auto-stereoscopic 3D Displays." New personal auto-stereoscopic 3D display technologies, based on flat panel LCD displays, are now commercially available and this award is an exciting opportunity to research novel 3D software technologies in computer graphics and multimedia that will support the displays in a wide range of new applications.

An important part of the work will be investigating the impact of the displays on international standards including MPEG-4, VRML & X3D and developing new technologies to allow wider use of these standards with 3D displays. The Visualisation Research Group at Durham provides a friendly environment to work in and while still growing has established an international reputation for its research in software visualisation. This new research will complement the existing work of the group and build on the recent appointment of full time staff working on novel visualization technologies. The starting date for this position is flexible. In the first instance contact Dr Nick Holliman by email at N.S.Holliman@durham.ac.uk to arrange an informal discussion. More information about the CASE studentships and eligibility can be found at the EPSRC website.

URL: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk

175.19 Technical Community College

Tech Ed Concepts, a 3D academic software provider for educators and students has awarded Wisconsin Indianhead Technical Community College (WITC) as a CADKEY Certified Regional Training Center. In order to qualify as a Regional Training Center, WITC is required to meet a series of criteria. WITC instructors have to be competent in the use and application of the software; they have to be willing to participate or provide industry training workshops and/or host teacher workshops, and offer CAD courses outside the classroom through local community education programs and/or local industrial programs.

URL: http://www.tecedu.com

175.20 VR/i3D Events

VAST2001: Athens, Greece, November 28-30.
URL: http://www.eg.org/events/VAST2001

IEEE VR 2002: Orlando, USA, March 24-28, 2002.
URL: http://www.VR2002.org

SIGGRAPH 2002: San Antonio, Texas, USA, July 21-26, 2002.
URL: http://www.siggraph.org/s2002

For more extensive information about events relevant to the VR/i3D community, VREfresh recommends the web sites below.
URL: http://www.elpub.org/base05.htm
URL: http://www.elpub.org/connone.htm

For more 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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