Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 22 July 2002

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The next issue of VREfresh will be published from Siggraph 2002 in San Antonio.

Users, Applications & Projects
01 Time Travel: Is it History, Culture or Healthcare?
02 Large-scale Visualization System in Canada
03 VR Training & Bureau
04 Deutsche Welle 3D Community
05 Augmented Reality in Japan
06 Georgia Tech & Dassault
07 Sanyo's Secret Software
08 Trial Orders for HandGear

Products & Services
09 Maya 4.5 has Fluid Effects & Ocean Shader

Patents, Standards & Benchmarks
10 Patent: Multiple viewer headset display…

Companies & Markets
11 USA Expansion for Fakespace
12 Software for Real Estate Wins MacWorld Award
13 Macromedia Cuts Losses
14 Can ADVA Survive?
15 VirTra Secures $5.45m Financing

People & Appointments
16 Opportunity with Virtual Presence
17 Advanced Rendering Technology Co-founder Returns
18 DSI Datotech Resignation

Events & Calls for Papers
19 VR World Congress V
20 Presence 2002
21 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002
22 CyberTherapy2003
23 VR2003
24 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
25 More Events

200.01 Time Travel: Is it History, Culture or Healthcare?

Virtual Presence UK Ltd (VP) has been awarded a contract to develop a VR "time travel" feature in support of the Manchester Royal Infirmary's 250th Anniversary celebrations. The first part of the feature will include a reconstruction of a 19th Century operating theatre and will take a look into the future of surgery, based on some of the projects already in place at the MRI. Professor Bob Stone, VP's Scientific Director and a Visiting Professor in the MRI/ University Department of Surgery said, "The time travel effects will be based on a project developed in 1994 in support of the bid to build the Lowry Centre at Salford Quays".

VP used VR to transport audiences through L S Lowry's 1930s "Coming From The Mill" painting into a three-dimensional "dreamscape", complete with animated "matchstalk" figures. This time, the journey will begin within a 3D computer model of the new hospital building development.

Prof Stone continued, "Users of the VR feature will be allowed to explore a state-of-the-art virtual ward and operating theatre and will also be presented with examples of public healthcare art exhibits. We will then "transport" them back over 100 years to explore, in stark contrast, an operating theatre in or around the 1895 time period". The past and present scenarios will be accompanied by images and videos showing period surgical instruments, clothing and animated virtual actors. Closely involved is the University Department of Surgery, headed by consultant surgeon Mr Rory McCloy. Prof Stone and Mr McCloy are directors of the Wolfson Centre for Minimally Invasive Therapy, an MRI-based unit that developed early VR keyhole surgery skills trainer and simulated haptic feedback demonstrator for medical VR in the mid-1990s.

URL: http://www.vrweb.com

Professor Stone is to Chair VR World Congress V in Paris, France on September 9th and 10th, 2002. He will, no doubt, be pleased to discuss possible project relationships as part of the European Commission's forthcoming $3.6bn investment in IT research projects.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

200.02 Large-scale Visualization System in Canada

Mechdyne has completed a large-scale visualization system (an MD Flex) for New Media Innovation Centre (NewMIC) in Vancouver, Canada. Funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, it is thought to be one of the most sophisticated visualization systems in Western Canada. The system will provide a key platform for research in electronic gaming, networking, and web design and creation. NewMIC's MD Flex features three 10' x 8' vertical panels and a floor projection surface that can be quickly and easily configured as a fully immersive walk-in environment, an angled, interactive theater, or a single, flat display wall. An SGI Onyx 3200 visualization system with two InfiniteReality3 graphics pipes generates images, which are projected onto the walls and floor by four CRT projectors. The system also includes customized features.

A "surround sound" audio system provides audio cues to transport users into the virtual world, allowing individuals to feel less like viewers and more like active participants. A tracking system tracks the position of a user's head and hand (using an interactive glove) and subsequently displays the correct scenery for that user's point of view. A wireless control system allows complete control of the system's many components from a single touch pad. Finally, an additional LCD projector delivers extra brightness for A/V presentations, and wireless microphones enable easy audience interaction.

URL: http://www.newmic.com
URL: http://www.mechdyne.com

200.03 VR Training & Bureau

Oregon3DSM Inc. has launched the Center for Visualization Technologies in Portland, Oregon. The training facility offers 3D graphics professionals a collaborative learning environment and a variety of courses in 3D modeling, animation, special visual effects, editing, and compositing, as well as real-time image generation for data visualization and simulation. Oregon3D also provides a service bureau that allows clients to access the supercomputing visualization technology. The entire facility and the service bureau will officially open to the public in September 2002.

URL: http://www.oregon3d.com

200.04 Deutsche Welle 3D Community

Deutsche Welle has launched its 3D community "DW3D" which was presented at last years Virtual Reality World Congress in Spain. DW-3D is a fully interactive, three-dimensional multimedia service that integrates Deutsche Welle's TV and Radio arts and culture shows into an online community and chat environment. The world of DW-3D also provides interactive games and special events on a regular basis. The community consists of four virtual rooms for users to explore using avatars. Avatars can meet each other and interact. The four rooms are Lapidarium (entrance to DW3D), Art Gallery (monthly exhibitions), Concert Hall (where live events such World Music night are streamed) and the Multimedia Lounge (interactive games, TV and radio show broadcasts). The lessons learned from developing this project will be valuable experience to the Deutsche Well team and make them an attractive potential partner for proposals to the European Commission's $3.6bn Sixth Framework programme.

URL: http://www.dw3d.de

200.05 Augmented Reality in Japan

According to the Nikkei English News Service, Toppan Printing Co and the Waseda University Global Information and Telecommunication Institute are to use augmented-reality technologies to develop a system that melds computer graphics with real-world images to show reconstructions of ancient ruins in present-day settings. A user will be able to walk around in an area and view digital images of computer-reconstructed buildings, statues and ancient people going about their daily lives against the real-world backdrop.

The system is designed for archeological studies, museum displays and showroom exhibits, but Toppan also envisions it being modified so doctors can provide surgical guidance from remote locations. Toppan and the institute will work on image-processing technologies and display equipment and start testing the system in October. They intend to use the Global Positioning System so the computer can track the exact position of the viewer. Images will be fed to the head-mounted display using a wireless LAN and Bluetooth.

200.06 Georgia Tech & Dassault

The Georgia Institute of Technology and Dassault Systemes have formed a strategic development partnership for 3D Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) technology. Under the agreement, the two parties will develop multi-disciplinary projects and research activities in the areas of internet-based collaborative product engineering, product simulation, e-commerce, and 3D PLM education.

URL: http://www.cad.gatech.edu/gtplmcc
URL: http://www.gatech.edu/
URL: http://www.3ds.com

200.07 Sanyo's Secret Software

Sanyo Electronic Software is reportedly planning to ship software next month that will provide 3D effect to images taken with digital cameras. It is said the software will be sold direct from company's Web site. Sanyo expects to sell 10,000 units in first year. The product may have been created as part of joint venture between Sanyo and Cycore.

200.08 Trial Orders for HandGear

DSI Datotech Systems Inc claims to have exceeded expectations with its HandGear product. From its initial limited production run, DSI has placed units for evaluation with 15 different companies representing potential co-development and distribution partners, as well as end-users. DSI has also announced the receipt of its first purchase order for several HandGear units. HandGear's multi-point, touchpad uses a hand-gesture interface to interpret hand and finger movements through pressure, position and speed of movement. HandGear is available now with API plug-ins for Discreet's 3ds max, and Autodesk's VIZ 4 CAD software. A plug-in for Softimage's XSI 2.0 is planned.

URL: http://www.dato.com

200.09 Maya 4.5 has Fluid Effects & Ocean Shader

Alias/Wavefront has announced Maya 4.5, the seventh major release of its Maya 3D animation software. With Fluid Effects technology, Maya Unlimited 4.5 will give users integrated tools for simulating and rendering atmospheric effects, viscous liquids, pyrotechnics and space effects. A new Ocean Shader will make it possible to represent a range of different open water effects. Fluid Effects Technology provides the general 3D artist an integrated solution to traditionally difficult challenges in computer graphics. Fluid Effects will allow users to create various types of atmospherics (billowing clouds and cigarette smoke); thick, viscous liquids (mud, lava); pyrotechnics (fire, explosions, nuclear blasts); and space effects (comets, nebulae and meteors).

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com

200.10 Patent: Multiple viewer headset display apparatus and method with second person icon display

US Patent Number 6417969 has been assigned for:

"A virtual reality system stereoscopically projects virtual reality images including a three dimensional image having an interface image in a space observable by a user. The display system includes a substantially transparent display which also allows real images of real objects to be combined or superimposed with the virtual reality images. Selective areas or characteristics of the real images are obstructed by a selective real image obstructer to enhance viewing of selected virtual reality images while providing for viewing or real images or virtual images combined with real images in other viewing areas. Icons are displayed opposite the real image obstructions in order that a second person can ascertain the nature of the information viewed by the viewer."

200.11 USA Expansion for Fakespace

Fakespace Systems' Novi, Michigan office is to relocate on August 1st, 2002 to 28850 Cabot Drive, Suite 1300, Novi, MI USA 48377. The new Novi location will provide larger engineering and technical services labs and a larger showroom.

URL: http://www.fakespacesystems.com

200.12 Software for Real Estate Wins MacWorld Award

Microspot Ltd in the UK, a developer of software for 3D modeling and animation, has received the MacWorld Award for Best Value Added Solution sponsored by Apple. The winning solution, based on Microspot's Media Assistant, PhotoFix and MacDraft programs, was written for real estate agents to enable them to display and manage property details.

200.13 Macromedia Cuts Losses

Macromedia cut its losses for its fiscal first quarter. The company posted a loss of $4.3 million for the quarter ended June 30. That compares with a loss of $111.8 million, or $1.94 per share, for the same period a year ago and $80.5 million, or $1.37 a share, in the previous quarter. Revenue for the quarter totaled $84.2 million, compared with revenue of $88.7 million a year ago and $75.6 million last quarter.

200.14 Can ADVA Survive?

ADVA International Inc has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission its Annual Report for the year ended March 31, 2002. The Company also filed amended Forms 10-QSB/A for the second and third quarters of fiscal 2002. The results of operations for the Company and its subsidiary for the year ended March 31, 2002 show a net loss of $3,319,291, and as of March 31, 2002 had a working capital deficiency of $702,830 and a stockholders' deficiency of $1,348,291. The net loss has been financed by loans. Management is seeking working capital through additional loan proceeds and/or the sale of shares of its common stock and is working to restructure the Company's business plan and to attract new funding. Without new funding the Company estimates that it may be forced to cease operations by the end of August 2002. ADVA, through its wholly owned subsidiary Global Information Group USA, Inc, intends to develop and market a complete 3D solid modeling, animation and rendering system and CAD visualization applications software.

200.15 VirTra Secures $5.45m Financing

VirTra Systems, Inc. has finalized a financing agreement to provide funding totaling $5.45 million. The financing was led by Boston-based Dutchess Private Equities Fund, L.P. The initial funds from the convertible debenture will allow the company to upgrade its VR Zone experiences and provides momentum to drive into the training/simulation market.

URL: http://www.dutchessadvisors.com
URL: http://www.virtrasystems.com

200.16 People: Opportunity with Virtual Presence

Virtual Presence is looking to expand its UK-based sales force. They wish to recruit someone who knows the VR software, services and/or solutions business and, preferably, already has sales experience. Email David Hendon at david.hendon@vrweb.com.

URL: http://www.vrweb.com

200.17 People: Advanced Rendering Technology

A consortium, including a co-founder of the company, has bought the business and assets of Advanced Rendering Technology Ltd. (ART) - best known for its PURE and RenderDrive 3D rendering solutions. Dr. Daniel Hall, one of the co-founders of ART, returns and will head the new company as CEO. The new company ART VPS Ltd., which will keep the Advanced Rendering Technology name, will focus its resources and efforts on the Virtual Photography application of computer graphics. Both PURE and RenderDrive product lines will be continued and the new company is taking on product support for existing customers with valid warranty and support contracts. The new company will be located in the UK on Cambridge's Science Park complex.

URL: http://www.advancedrendering.com

200.18 People: DSI Datotech

Allan S Gibbins had resigned as a Director of DSI Datotech Systems Inc.

URL: http://www.dato.com

200.00 Events

200.19 VR World Congress V

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). Check to see if places are still available.
Paris, France, September 9-10, 2002

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

200.20 Presence 2002

Presence 2002, Portugal, October 9-11, 2002

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

200.21 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002

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

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

200.22 CyberTherapy2003

CyberTherapy2003, Using Advanced Technologies in the Behavioral, Social, and Neurosciences, San Diego, California, USA
January 19th-20th, 2003.

URL: http://www.e-therapy.info

200.23 VR2003

IEEE Virtual Reality 2003 Conference and the Eleventh Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, Los Angeles, California, USA, March 22-26, 2003, (Papers Deadline: September 9, 2002)

URL: http://www.vr2003.org
URL: http://www.hapticssymposium.org/

200.24 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics

Monterey, California, USA, April 27 to 30, 2003, (Papers Deadline: September 15, 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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