Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 24th August 2002

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BT plc's lawsuit against Prodigy Communications over Internet hyperlinks has been defeated in a U.S. court. BT claimed that a U.S. patent file issued in 1989 gave it rights to hyperlinks. Judge Colleen McMahon said BT's patent covered access to "blocks of information" stored on a "central computer", but the Internet has no central computer and Web pages are not blocks of information. BT has said it first realized that the patent, which expires in 2006, might have commercial value in 1997 and has been preparing to exploit it for the past three years. BT owned similar patents in Europe, but those expired in 1996.

Users, Applications & Projects
01 The Built Environment
02 Virtual Models of Existing Buildings
03 Architects Adopt 3D
04 Weapons Simulators
05 University of Twente Purchases

Products & Services
06 Workstation or Laptop?
07 Projection Today and Tomorrow
08 Training for Maya
09 Character Animation
10 Plug-in for Carrara Studio 2
11 Network Rendering Plug-In

Companies & Markets
12 DesignStudio Software/Cintiq Tablet Offer
13 i3D in Brazil
14 3D Holographic Imaging
15 eMagin Results & Binocular Headset
16 Brilliant Results
17 Fakespace USA Move Completed
18 Actify Moves HQ

Patents, Standards & Benchmarks
19 Tracking and Assessing Movement Skills

Events & Calls for Papers
20 VR World Congress V
21 Collaborative Virtual Environments 2002
22 Cave Programming Workshop (* New Entry)
23 Delivering Technology Leadership for Life Sciences (* New Entry)
24 Presence 2002
25 Visualization 2002
26 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
27 Siggraph 2003
28 More Events

205.01 The Built Environment

Authored by Jennifer Whyte of the University of Sussex, UK, "Virtual Reality and the Built Environment" is shortly to be published as an informative guide for professionals and students conducting computer-based design work. The book is intended to bridge the gap between technological fantasy and current practice with case studies from Britain, Japan, USA and Australia.

URL: http://www.buildingvr.com

"The Built Environment" was a driving force behind the creation of Cubicspace, a UK software company, and their rtre software. Demonstrations of rtre will presented at VR World Congress V and trial CDs will be available free of charge for delegates.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

205.02 Virtual Models of Existing Buildings

The U.S. Coast Guard is implementing Graphisoft's ArchiCAD as one of its software tools to support its strategic facilities capital asset initiatives. By creating intelligent 3D virtual models of existing buildings with Graphisoft's model-based design technology, the Coast Guard is gathering intelligence about its facility portfolio that proves invaluable with regard to space planning, quantifying building efficiencies, prioritizing capital improvement projects, lowering total cost of ownership, identifying physical vulnerability issues and determining divestiture opportunities across the maritime service's shore facilities. "The ability to bring decision-making down to a virtual environment that replicates the physical environment is just extraordinary," says Lt Commander Jack Dempsey of the U.S. Coast Guard.

URL: http://www,graphisoft.com

205.03 Architects Adopt 3D

Scott Tallon Walker, one of Ireland's leading architectural practices, is using 3D visualization solutions from ART VPS Ltd to create virtual photographs for the practices key development projects. The latest project is involved with a large extension to St Vincent's University Hospital. Scott Tallon Walker has been producing 3D renderings using 3dsmax for a number of years, but had been frustrated by the limitations of the various visualization tools that they tried. Mark Spelman, visualization manager at Scott Tallon Walker, explains, "The software solution we were using previously forced us to model in a certain way to avoid rendering problems, and then came to a grinding standstill when dealing with the size of models that we create." Other projects include a 20-acre development in Dublin containing a mixture of office, retail and residential developments, and a Motorway Services scheme including hotel, food halls and restaurant located on the M1 motorway north of Dublin. Scott Tallon Walker employs almost 100 staff in its offices in Dublin, Galway and London. The practice uses Autodesk AutoCAD software as its principle CAD design tool, running on around 60 workstations.

URL: http://www.artvps.com
URL: http://www.stw.ie

205.04 Weapons Simulators

Firearms Training Systems, Inc. has received a U.S. Air Force Space Command contract award valued at approximately $1.3m to provide four Squad Engagement Training Systems (SETS) plus weapon simulators to support the individual and squad training program in Space Command. Close-range weapons simulators are proven to offer significant savings. An investment in simulation of less than $1m in the UK is shown to have saved more than $4m. Prof Bob Stone has details of the cost benefits of HMS Cambridge and HMS Collingwood and will be available for discussion at VR World Congress V in Paris, France on 9th and 10th September.

URL: http://www.fatsinc.com
URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

205.05 University of Twente Purchases

The University of Twente in the Netherlands has purchased 450 additional licenses of SolidWorks software, bringing its total number of installed licenses to 600. SolidWorks has become the standard 3D CAD software for the university's mechanical engineering and industrial design departments. "Last year we reached a point where students urged us to make SolidWorks available on their private PCs, as well as in the classroom," said Hans Tragter, CAD lecturer and researcher with the university's mechanical engineering department. "We have achieved that goal with our new computer network, enabling every student to access SolidWorks for their design projects whether they are on campus or working from home."

URL: http://www.wb.utwente.nl/
URL: http://www.designsolutions.nl
URL: http://www.solidworks.com

205.06 Workstation or Laptop?

Fujitsu PC Corporation claims to have closed the divide between desktop workstations and notebooks with the CELSIUS Mobile H workstation. The system incorporates a Mobile Intel Pentium 4 Processor - M running at 1.9GHz which supports enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology, a 60GB integrated hard drive and up to 1GB of DDR-SDRAM system memory. Together with an NVIDIA Quadro4 500 Go GL graphics accelerator and 64MB of unified graphics memory, the CELSIUS Mobile H has been outfitted with a 15.1-inch UXGA (1600 x 1200) display and its magnesium-alloy casing should contribute to heat dissipation and overall durability.

URL: http://www.fujitsupc.com

205.07 Projection Today and Tomorrow

3D Perception has released a family of 1280 by 1024 single chip DLP projectors. The new projector comes in four versions, ranging from 1500 to 3000 ANSI Lumens with full warping, color matching and soft edge capability, allowing the projectors to present seamless images onto curved and double curved screens. Projection is critical to user acceptance of VR/i3D and Eric Braux, Barco Simulation's European Business Operations Director for Virtual and Augmented Reality will be discussing the techniques of projection and display at VR World Congress V in Paris, France on 9th and 10th September.

URL: http://www.3d-perception.com
URL: http://www.barco.com
URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

205.08 Training for Maya

Oregon3D is to add classes on Alias|Wavefront Maya software to its core curriculum. Oregon3D's learning facility will offer its first Maya class, a five-day Maya Basics™ course later this month. The course is designed not only to provide a solid foundation to those new to Maya, but also to explore more challenging concepts such as modeling, animating, texturing, lighting and rendering. Oregon3DSM classes provide a collaborative learning environment that goes beyond the theory of operation to integrate course work with real-life production practices. Oregon3D's 8,000-square-foot facility provides the working environment and equipment used by professional creative artists in the film, game, TV and visualization industries. Maya Basics is available at an introductory price of $1,300 compared to the regular price of $1,600.

URL: http://www.orgeon3d.com

205.09 Character Animation

Curious Labs has announced Poser 5, the new version of their 3D-character animation tool for artists and animators. Poser 5 will initially be available for Windows; details about a Macintosh version will be announced later this autumn. Poser 5 includes the FireFly Renderer, a hybrid micro-polygon and Ray Trace render engine with subdivision surface rendering of polygons. New features include accurate 3D human figures with articulated hands and feet, featuring photorealistic texture maps and facial morphs from Runtime DNA. Poser 5 is expected to be available in late summer 2002 with an expected price of US$349.

URL: http://www.curiouslabs.com

205.10 Plug-in for Carrara Studio 2

Eovia Corporation has released VectorStyle, a 3D vector rendering plug-in for Carrara Studio 2. VectorStyle uses Electric Rain's RAViX II technology, enabling Carrara Studio 2 users to turn their 3D scenes into scalable vector-based animations that can be published seamlessly to the Web.

URL: http://www.eovia.com
URL: http://www.erain.com

205.11 Network Rendering Plug-In

Caligari has announced availability of tSNet, a network rendering plug-in for trueSpace users who want to use their computers in multi-node rendering networks, also known as render farms. The control provided by tSNet helps trueSpace users better manage their projects and optimize rendering times and resources. tSNet is available in two configurations: a single node batch renderer for rendering multiple scenes as sequential still images or animations, and in multiple node bundles which can be purchased in quantities of 3, 7, 12, or 20 nodes. Users can create networks with multiple computers, providing flexibility. When the demands of a project change, users can re-allocate resources as needed by adding or subtracting nodes from their network at anytime. tSNet is available now. Prices start at $49 for the single node batch renderer and go up to $559 for a 20-node license.

URL: http://www.caligari.com/

205.12 DesignStudio Software/Cintiq Tablet Offer

Alias|Wavefront has joined with Wacom Technology to offer a DesignStudio software/Cintiq tablet combination package for industrial designers. The software/hardware pairing makes it possible to conceptualize designs electronically, with nearly the same freedom and ease as drawing ideas on paper, while employing all the power and accuracy of 3D modeling. The offer runs until December 27, 2002, and includes one seat of DesignStudio, and one Cintiq 18sx LCD pen display. During the promotion, the two products are listed for sale together for the same price normally charged for DesignStudio alone. The combination package is listed for $7500.

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com
URL: http://www.wacom.com

205.13 i3D in Brazil

Mauricio Manhaes writes from Brazil to tell us about his company, 3Di. "For the metal-mechanic industry's instructors, who are dissatisfied with the traditional limits of product demonstration, the 3Di MT is the virtual clone of your product, that lets your company not only to show products, piece by piece, in 3D, as if it was a real solid device, but also to eliminate the external layers, showing the internal ones, till it gets to the nucleus of the product. It is also possible to show the assembly sequence of each part, step by step." Delco Remy was the first international client of 3Di. Delco Remy is a General Motors Corporation division located in Anderson, Indiana, USA.

URL: http://www.3di.com.br

205.14 3D Holographic Imaging

Creative Gaming, Inc. has acquired an Exclusive Sublicensing Agreement from Entertainment Arts, Inc. in order to finance and assist in the commercial exploitation of a patented 3D holographic imaging technology known as Real Image. Real Image holographic technology projects live, real-time, full color, 3D images from the display unit into an area of space between the observer and the unit. The image moves in an empty space relative to the unit and can be viewed by any number of people. A high-resolution image can be projected in reduced scale onto a table/desktop or life-sized onto a stage. The image source can be computer-generated animations, 3D scans of real objects or live and/or produced video feed of actual people and events.

205.15 eMagin Results & Binocular Headset

eMagin Corporation, developer of active matrix organic light emitting diode (OLED) microdisplay technology, has reported unaudited revenues for the second quarter of 2002 of $0.3m million versus $1.6m for the same period in 2001. The company reported a pro forma net loss of $2.7m. During the second quarter of 2002, eMagin demonstrated a binocular headset with combined real-time 3D and headtracking. The headset, which featured eMagin SVGA-3D microdisplays, was used to show an electronic game re-engineered into a VR format by VRX Technologies Group of the UK, with whom eMagin has established a co-marketing agreement.

URL: http://www.emagin.com

205.16 Brilliant Results

Brilliant Digital Entertainment, Inc, developer and distributor of rich media advertising technologies and, through its Altnet subsidiary, secure peer-to-peer solutions, has reported net revenues for the second quarter ended June 30, 2002 declined 42% to $375,000 from $652,000 in the comparable second quarter of 2001.

URL: http://www.brilliantdigital.com
URL: http://www.altnet.com

206.17 Fakespace USA Move Completed

Fakespace Systems' move to its new facility in Michigan is complete. The address is 28850 Cabot Drive, Novi, MI, USA 48377.

URL: http://www.fakespacesystems.com

206.18 Actify Moves HQ

Actify has moved its corporate headquarters to a larger facility in San Francisco, California and is opening additional offices to support sales throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

URL: http://www.Actify.com/

206.19 Patent: Tracking & Assessing Movement Skills

Trazer Technologies has been awarded US Patent 6430997 for "Accurate simulation of sport to quantify and train performance constructs by employing sensing electronics for determining, in essentially real time, the player's three dimensional positional changes in three or more degrees of freedom (three dimensions); and computer controlled sport specific cuing that evokes or prompts sport specific responses from the player that are measured to provide meaningful indicia of performance. The sport specific cuing is characterized as a virtual opponent that is responsive to, and interactive with, the player in real time. The virtual opponent continually delivers and/or responds to stimuli to create realistic movement challenges for the player."

205.00 Events & Calls for Papers

205.20 VR World Congress V

VR World Congress V will be held in Paris, France on September 9th and 10th, 2002.

How long would it take to telephone (let alone meet) these organizations to discuss partnership possibilities? Early reservations for VR World Congress V were received from A.S.I.A Onlus, Aalborg University, AFPA - DEAT, Alterface, Arup, Barco, Bradford University, BRGM, caDo Multimedia, CEA (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique), Centro Sistemi V.R., CIRA, Communication & Systemes - SI, CSTB, CSVR-ODA, Cubicspace, Daimler Chrysler AG, Digital Design Studio, East Anglia University, Entertain Ltd, ESoCE, European Commission, European Schoolnet, Eutelsat S.A., Fakespace Systems, Forschungszentrum Informationstechnik, Fraunhofer Institute, Giuntilabs, Hewlett-Packard, HSK, HSR Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil, IGP, University of Stuttgart, Infinity Innovations, Institut de Recherches R. BOSCH SA, Institute for Structural Analysis, KET, Kondi-Servis, LMR, MVA, My Virtual Model, NNC Ltd, Octaga, Orad, Parallel Graphics Limited, Primo-Somadec, Princess Interactive Software GmbH, Queen's University Belfast, Realtime Technology, Realviz, Resotech 2000, Robotics Laboratory of Paris, Russian Web Service, Salford University, SEOS, Shanghai Hongye Co. Ltd, Sim Team, Simulog Technologies, St Elmo Project, Stuttgart University, SYNTELIS, Systema Informatics, Tamper VRC, Tech Soft America, Tecnatom, Telecom Italia, TGS, Thales Information Systems, Toni Avrame s.a., UNI-C, University College London, Vartec, Viasys, Virtools, Wolverhampton University, Virtual Engineering Centre, Virtual Presence, Visiospace, VR Centre at Teesside Ltd, VR Media Lab, Vrcontext, Vrex, VRlab Umea University, VTT Industrial Systems, WEB3D Consortium, WorldViz LLC, X3D Technologies...

Where will representatives from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the UK, the USA... all come together for 9th and 10th September? The answer is VR World Congress V in Paris, France.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

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

205.21 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/

205.22 Cave Programming Workshop

The 2nd Cave Programming Workshop is scheduled for October 2-4th 2002 at the VR Media Lab, Aalborg University, Denmark. The primary goal of the workshop is to provide the participants with in-depth information and hands-on experience with leading programming technologies for CAVE-like display systems. Focus will be on scene graph applications and positional sound.

URL: http://www.vrmedialab.dk/projects/cave2002

205.23 Delivering Technology Leadership for Life Sciences

"Delivering Technology Leadership for Life Sciences," an executive summit hosted by the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI) and SGI, is to take place on October 3 at the University of Delaware. This forum, free for professionals in biotechnology and related fields, features a distinguished roster of researchers addressing trends and challenges in high-performance computing and visualization for life and chemical sciences as it relates to drug discovery and bioterrorism research. The program includes a tour of DBI's new Visualization Center.

URL: http://www.sciences.sgi/go/chembio
URL: http://www.dbi.udel.edu

205.24 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/

205.26 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

205.27 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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