Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 1 July 2002

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 Cable Laying Fault Analysis and Training Simulator
02 Spatial Visualization Platform for ARL
03 Buick Renews VR Test Drive
04 Auto Parts Maker Improves Efficiency
05 Educating Sales Teams & Customers with 3D
06 Design for Water Speed Record

Products & Services
07 Raptor Released
08 Office Clutter Library
09 StudioTools 10 Ships
10 Education Edition
11 Operations Process Management Uses 3D
12 AMD Athlon MP in BOXX
13 Wildcat VP Graphics Accelerators

Companies & Markets
14 Encouraging Forecast on Broadband Use
15 One Million Parasolid Users
16 AnimaTek WorldBuilder Acquired
17 Software Bundle from Electric Rain
18 OpenViz Incorporated
19 InterSense Moves

Worth Watching
20 Oil Company Signs Long-term Agreement

Patents, Standards & Benchmarks
21 New Member for Khronos
People & Appointments
22 Opportunities in UK

Events & Calls for Papers
23 SIGGRAPH 2002
24 VR World Congress V
25 PRESENCE 2002
26 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002
27 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
28 More Events

198.01 Cable Laying Fault Analysis and Training Simulator

The Virtual Reality Centre at Teesside Limited in the UK is currently working on a Cable Laying Fault Analysis and Training Simulator. The simulator will take operators through all of the main control procedures involved in sub-sea and ship based systems. It is thought that on completion of the £1m turnkey installation in September 2002 the system will be the most advanced simulator within the Telecoms Cable Industry. With the increase in deep-sea fishing all telecoms cables now have to be buried to a depth of 2.5m to 3m in water depths up to 1500m. The simulator models in real-time a photo-realistic 3D visualization of the sub-sea plough and cable ship operations. These include accurate soil interaction modeling between the plough and the sea-bed, catenary modeling for the tow and product cables, real-time control of over a 1000 variables from the real operational control systems, automatic terrain creation from actual survey data, launch and recovery of the plough, sonar simulation from the plough sonar, dynamic positioning simulation for the ship navigation and sea state modeling for varying weather states. The completed system will generate 11 CCTV views and 3 synchronized ship bridge views.

The system works through distributed simulation across a standard PC network using TCP/IP. This modular system approach allows extra views or tasks to be removed or added at any point. The cable installation company CTC Marine Ltd placed the plough simulator order with the Virtual Reality Centre in 2001 and has been sufficiently pleased with the development that is has placed a further order for a Remote Operational Vehicle (ROV) simulator. The ROV project will look at simulating all of the post lay inspection and burial tasks and systems involved with operating the SMD CT2 sub-sea ROV. This includes modeling the performance of the umbilical catenary, ROV dynamics, cable tracking systems, sonar, cable burial and robot arm manipulators. The turnkey system will generate eight CCTV views simultaneously and will link into the actual ROV control system developed by the Newcastle upon Tyne based company SMD.

URL: http://www.vr-centre.com

Janice Webster, Director of the VR Centre, will be speaking on the subject of "Working with Industrial Partners" at VR World Congress V, Paris, France on 9th & 10th September. This event is a unique opportunity for prospective partners in funded VR/i3D projects to meet prior to the European Commission's 3.6bn euro Sixth Framework Programme.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

198.02 Spatial Visualization Platform for ARL

The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has placed an order for Actuality's Perspecta platform and will be among the first to receive Perspecta v1.5, the recently released spatial visualization platform. The ARL provides a wide range of research and development support for the Army, Department of Defense, NASA and a number of other government agencies. The Perspecta platform has two components: a 360-degree spatial display and Perspecta system software. The platform enables users to render high-resolution spatial images that can be viewed from any angle as the user moves around the display. The ARL will also receive the Perspecta SDK, which is used for application development and migration.

The Perspecta display illuminates 100 million volume pixels, or "voxels", throughout a full range of 3D locations within a transparent 20-inch diameter sphere. Perspecta's embedded graphics engine allows fully animated 3D imagery to be controlled and maneuvered by rapidly computing the data required to project over 5000 images per second onto its rotating screen. The Perspecta display uses the company's Spatial Rendering Kernel, a collection of proprietary algorithms, which slice the user's 3D data into a format suitable for projection into spatial 3D.

URL: http://www.actuality-systems.com

198.03 Buick Renews VR Test Drive

Buick has renewed and upgraded for the third consecutive year its "Drive With Confidence" tour VR test drive developed by VirTra Systems. The experiences are integrated into two specially designed tractor-trailers that include 16 Buick LeSabre seats, and feature photorealistic simulation. The participants "ride" with Buick's 2002 PGA Tour visor player, professional golfer J. J. Henry. Visitors place the seatbelt around them and, via a head-mounted display offering 360-degree field of view and sense of smell, take a seven-and-a-half minute virtual LeSabre ride across the United States.

URL: http://www.virtrasystems.com

198.04 Auto Parts Maker Improves Efficiency

Wescast Industries Inc has selected Teamcenter Automotive Supplier software from EDS PLM Solutions as its product lifecycle management (PLM) platform. The world's largest supplier of cast exhaust manifolds for passenger cars and light trucks, Wescast designs, develops, manufactures and machines iron exhaust manifolds for global automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Wescast will deploy Teamcenter Automotive Supplier to manage its product development workflow, including design activities, approvals and change processes; document management and distribution; 3D visualization and enterprise design collaboration. "We need to be extremely efficient and able to quickly react to changing environments within our industry," said Vice President, Tim Armstrong, Wescast Industries, Quality and Information Systems. "To achieve these objectives, it's important to make product information readily accessible to everyone in our design-to-manufacture process."

URL: http://www.eds.com

198.05 Educating Sales Teams & Customers with 3D

Eloquent Inc, a provider of sales effectiveness solutions, and Kaon Interactive have formed a partnership to integrate Kaon's 3D imaging technology into Eloquent's LaunchForce sales readiness application. This partnership will enable companies to use 3D images to dramatically enhance how sales teams, customers and partners are educated on new products.

URL: http://www.kaon.com
URL: http://www.eloquent.com

198.06 Design for Water Speed Record

Product lifecycle management (PLM) software from EDS is one of the enabling technologies that American Challenge Inc (ACI) is using to design a new craft to break the 2003 world water speed record. ACI will challenge the 24-year-old record of 317 mph with the support Unigraphics CAD/CAM/CAE software and Teamcenter collaboration software from EDS PLM Solutions. The CAD/CAM/CAE software has already been used in preliminary structural layouts of the craft.

URL: http://www.eds.com

198.07 Raptor Released

EON Reality is releasing EON Raptor Web Studio (Raptor), a plug-in for 3ds max4/viz, a plug-in that enables users to display and interact 3ds max content in real-time with intuitive controls. Simple interactive behaviors can be authored without opening additional programs outside 3ds max. EON Raptor is seamlessly integrated within 3ds max 4 and translates geometry, textures, lights and key-frames. Once animations have been created in 3ds max, interactivity can be created inside 3ds max and published to the Internet using Raptor's wizard driven webpublisher. The completed application can be published to a web page for viewing with a browser, exported as a standalone file for viewing with the free EON Viewer.

URL: http://www.eonreality.com

198.08 Office Clutter Library

ArchVision has a new RPC (Rich Photorealistic Content) library called RPC Office Clutter, the second release under the recently announced RPC Smart Content product portfolio. Building on the company's collection of automobiles, trees, people and fountains; Office Clutter Volume 1 delivers 17 common office items, such as printers, computer monitors, telephones and keyboards, for content in your virtual office scenes. RPC is an image-based content solution that uses image data combined with minimal polygonal geometry to represent objects in 3D. Because RPC relies more heavily on image data than geometry, rendering times can be faster than when traditional polygonal content is used. The use of image data also allows for a higher degree of image detail and fidelity, resulting in more realistic computer visualizations. Office Clutter is available now for $219.00.

URL: http://www.RPCnet.com

198.09 StudioTools 10 Ships

Alias|Wavefront is now shipping release 10 of StudioTools, the company's computer-aided industrial design (CAID) software. StudioTools 10 delivers many new paint functions including flood fill, masking, hide and show, blur, sharpen, smear and clone plus a PRO/Engineer interface which is included at no extra charge. Alias has also improved industry standard transfer methods. The IGES import/export is as much as ten times faster and the STEP translator is redesigned for better handling of analytical data. A new CheckModel feature will review a model for potential data transfer problems in such areas as rational geometry, multiple knots and short edges. StudioTools 10 prices start at $7,500.

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com

198.10 Education Edition

SolidWorks has a new version of its Education Edition software suite intended to help engineering schools enhance their curriculum by adding new analysis and collaboration capabilities that are critical to the mechanical design process. The 3D CAD tools provided let students create and test their designs using one comprehensive software license that addresses multiple disciplines. The Education Edition now includes the COSMOS/Works and COSMOS/Motion (powered by ADAMS) analysis tools, and the eDrawings Professional collaboration tool. They join the productivity tools already integrated into the Education Edition: SolidWorks 2001Plus, PhotoWorks, SolidWorks Animator, and SolidWorks Toolbox.

URL: http://www.solidworks.com

198.11 Operations Process Management Uses 3D

iBASEt has released Solumina G4, the latest generation of its Operations Process Management (OPM) application. The multimedia authoring tools have been further integrated making it easier to create animated slide shows that incorporate 3D models or videos that stop to display instructions and prompt for data.

URL: http://www.ibaset.com/

198.12 AMD Athlon MP in BOXX

3DBOXX R1 series of workstations and the RenderBOXX R series of rendering systems now feature the AMD Athlon MP processor 2100+ with QuantiSpeed architecture and Smart MP technology. Designed for Microsoft Windows 2000 or Linux, the 3DBOXX and RenderBOXX R series are available in single and dual processor configurations enhanced with NVIDIA Quadro4 XGL architecture and are optimized for creating and rendering 3D content and animation using software programs such as Maya, 3ds max, Softimage 3D, LightWave 3D, and Houdini. An advantage of AMD's multiprocessing platform is Smart MP technology, which enhances overall platform performance by increasing data movement between the two CPUs, chipset and memory system. Smart MP technology features dual point-to-point, high-speed 266MHz system buses with Error Correcting Code (ECC) support designed to provide up to 2.1GB per second per CPU of bus bandwidth in a dual-processor system. The AMD Athlon MP processor features the patented QuantiSpeed architecture, which includes a high performance full-speed cache with hardware data pre-fetch, a fully pipelined superscalar floating point engine, and an exclusive L2 Translation Look-aside Buffer (TLB). The processor also incorporates 3DNow!, which has 51 new instructions that extend AMD's 3DNow! technology, enabling smoother, richer and more lifelike images, more precise digital audio and an enriched Internet experience.

URL: http://www.boxxtech.com

198.13 Wildcat VP Graphics Accelerators

3Dlabs has announced availability of the Wildcat VP family of workstation-class graphics accelerators. Wildcat VP uses 3Dlabs' Visual Processing Architecture to integrate over 200 32-bit processors into a single Visual Processing Unit (VPU) for 200 Gflops and over 1.2 TeraOps of programmable power.

URL: http://www.3dlabs.com

198.14 Encouraging Forecast on Broadband Use

An estimated 24 million US homes, or 21% of all Web users, now have high-speed connections, an increase of more than a quarter since the start of the year, and quadruple the number of broadband users just two years ago, according to a survey by Pew Internet. Nearly six in ten broadband users have generated their own online content such as a personal Web page, posted information to a Web site or shared music and other types of files online, according to a survey of 507 adults with high-speed service conducted in January and February. About a quarter of them perform such activities on a typical day. About 63% have downloaded games, video or pictures at least once.

Pew also found that the average Internet user with high-speed home access does seven online tasks or activities per day compared with about three a day among dial-up users. Pew also found that the extra time spent online due to broadband comes at the expense of other activities such as watching television and shopping. The survey found 37% of broadband users said they had cut down on TV time; 31% said they had decreased time spent in stores; and 18% said they had reduced their newspaper reading. The dominant mode of high-speed access was still through cable TV modems at 71%, followed by DSL telephone lines at 27%, while 2% were using satellite or wireless broadband services. High-speed connections also appear to be enabling more work to be done at home, with about a third of the survey's respondents saying they "telecommute" at one time or another. Pew said the margin of error for its broadband user survey was plus or minus four percentage points.

URL: http://www.pewinternet.org

198. 15 One Million Parasolid Users

Parasolid software now has one million licensed end users, doubling the 3D product modeling solution end user base in just two years. Parasolid is a geometry modeling software licensed by companies developing advanced CAD/CAM/CAE applications used in product design. In 1997, Unigraphics Solutions (which EDS acquired in 2001 and merged with Structural Dynamics Research Corporation to form EDS PLM Solutions) made an announcement that it would license Parasolid, its core modeling technology, to the PLM industry under a "level-playing-field" strategy. Parasolid grew quickly, reaching its goal of 500,000 licenses by 2000 and now one million in 2002. Parasolid creates the 3D mathematical representation of a product's shape that is used to automate crucial product lifecycle management (PLM) processes such as design, analysis and manufacturing.

URL: http://www.eds.com/products/plm/parasolid/

198.16 AnimaTek WorldBuilder Acquired

Digital Element has acquired AnimaTek WorldBuilder and several other technologies. AnimaTek International, a San Francisco-based software company filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy in 2001, leaving the future of several technologies, including WorldBuilder, in question. AnimaTek WorldBuilder is a 3D package for modeling and rendering realistic outdoor environments. Digital Element is planning version 3.2 a free upgrade for both the Standard and Professional versions for released in 2002, which will address user issues and offer new functionality including a series of plug-ins for software packages such as Lightwave and Maya.

URL: http://www.digi-element.com

198.17 Software Bundle from Electric Rain

Electric Rain has announced a software bundling program whereby purchasers of their 3D vector graphics tool, Swift 3D, will have the option to receive a discount on Macromedia Flash MX. Electric Rain Swift 3D is a 3D application for creating low-bandwidth vector animations for use with Macromedia Flash. 3D scenes created within Swift 3D are exported using Electric Rain's proprietary RAViX II vector rendering engine, creating SWF files which then import into Macromedia Flash. Flash developers can then integrate those vector-based 3D animations into their Flash projects as needed while maintaining the advantages of scalability and small file size.

URL: http://www.erain.com

198.18 OpenViz Incorporated

ID Business Solutions (IDBS), provider of data management software applications for drug discovery, will incorporate AVS' OpenViz technologies into the IDBS software suite to strengthen the data visualization capabilities within ActivityBase. ActivityBase is a biopharmaceutical data management application for drug discovery, enabling scientists to capture, manage and use chemical and biological data in an integrated software environment. ActivityBase 5.1, to be released later this year, will encompass the OpenViz components for data analysis, visualization, graphics and data interactivity.

URL: http://www.id-bs.com
URL: http://www.avs.com

198.19 InterSense Moves

InterSense Inc has relocated its corporate headquarters to 1 North Avenue, Burlington, MA 01803, USA. Telephone and fax contacts are unchanged.

URL: http://www.isense.com

198.20 Oil Company Signs Long-term Agreement

Landmark Graphics Corporation has signed a five-year technology access agreement with the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). The agreement gives the KOC organization access to Landmark's full suite of geophysical, geological, reservoir management, project data management and economic modeling technologies as well as Landmark's on-site technical support and project consulting services. Integrating these solutions is intended to enable KOC to extract more value from their subsurface data and enhance their ability to find and produce hydrocarbons.

URL: http://www.lgc.com

198.21 New Member for Khronos

RealVision, a Japanese video and board maker that specializes in the development and marketing of video and 3D graphics LSIs, has applied for and been accepted as a Promoting Member of the Khronos Group. RealVision joins original Khronos Group Founders 3Dlabs, ATI, Discreet and SGI, and new Promoting Member DVS announced earlier this month, to participate in the worldwide development and deployment of royalty-free, open standard APIs that enable authoring and playback of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. The Khronos Group was founded in January 2000 by a number of graphics and digital media companies including 3Dlabs, ATI, Discreet, Evans & Sutherland, Intel, SGI and Sun Microsystems to promote the creation and deployment of rich media through the creation of open standard APIs to enable the authoring and playback of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms & devices.

URL: http://www.khronos.org

198.22 Opportunities in UK

The Virtual Reality Centre at the University of Teesside and the Resource Centre for Innovation and Design at the University of Newcastle has opportunities for a Research & Development Manager, and Principal Developer. Review quickly at the web site.

URL: http://www.tees.ac.uk/jobs/jobs.cfm

198.00 Events & Calls for Papers

198.23 SIGGRAPH 2002

ACM SIGGRAPH is dedicated to the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques: San Antonio, Texas, USA - July 21-26, 2002 (exhibition 23-25).

URL: http://www.siggraph.org

198.24 VR World Congress V

VR World Congress V will be held in Paris, France on September 9th and 10th, 2002 and offers an exceptional opportunity to identify project partners to make proposals to the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme (the budget for the 5th was $3.5bn). A copy of the current working draft agenda is available. The delegate fee for this not-for-profit event is just $150 and, as numbers are limited, early registration will be essential.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

198.25 PRESENCE 2002

PRESENCE 2002, Portugal on October 9-11, 2002

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

198.26 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/

198.27 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

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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