Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 16th October 2002

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Users, Applications & Projects
01 John Deere Design & Prototyping
02 NASA Shuttle Mission Simulators
03 Spitz ElectricSky Uses Barco
04 UK Army Contract for E&S
05 L'Oreal Research in 3D
06 Solid Edge for Auto Parts Supplier
07 Reconstruction after Czech Floods
08 University of Toronto Visualization
09 Architects Developing and Adapting Prototype
10 Architectural Visualization Services
11 Puma & Fujitsu-Siemens use i3D
12 Manufacturing Industry White Paper

Products & Services
13 Floor Mapping System
14 Hand-Worn Controller
15 Point-Based Surface Editing
16 Moving People
17 Tucan Series 2002
18 REALVIZ Stitcher Gateway to CATIA V5
Companies & Markets
19 Discreet Appoints Oregon3D

20 New President/CEO for VRCO
21 Intergraph Seeks New CEO
22 RealVue Hires VR of Sales & Marketing
23 Resignations at Superscape

Worth Watching
24 BMW
25 Automobile Navigation
Events & Calls for Papers
26 PRESENCE 2002
27 IEEE Visualization 2002
28 CyberTherapy 2003
29 IEEE VR2003
30 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics
31 Casa'2003 - Call for Papers and Tutorials
32 SIGGRAPH 2003 - Call for Participation
33 More Events

210.01 John Deere Design & Prototyping

Mechdyne, in alliance with SGI, has a contract to build an immersive visualization system for John Deere. As the second Mechdyne and SGI visualization solution for Deere, the system will be used primarily for design analysis and virtual prototyping applications. A design developed and marketed by Mechdyne as an MD Flex, the system will consist of three large vertical screens and a central floor surface. One person can reconfigure the system as one giant flat screen, an interactive theater with angled side panels, or a "U-shaped" immersive room. The system will feature several of Mechdyne's technological advances, including a low-maintenance DuraFloor projection surface and Seamless Corners for image fidelity. The system will be powered by an SGI Onyx 3000 with InfiniteReality3 graphics technology. Additional system features will include a multi-channel audio system and a tracking device to adjust projected images to correspond with a user's movement and point of view.

URL: http://www.mechdyne.com

210.02 NASA Shuttle Mission Simulators

Among the specialized Space Shuttle mission training facilities at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, the Shuttle Mission Simulators (SMS) - one motion based and two fixed - are the primary systems for training Space Shuttle crews. The SMS count two orbiter cockpits, each equipped with the identical controls, displays and consoles of an actual orbiter. The first two systems have been completed on the fixed base simulators with an additional motion based upgrade scheduled for the end of 2002. In a major upgrading program to enhance reliability and subsequent availability, BARCO-EIS Monitor Replacement Projectors(MRP) were chosen by Glass Mountain Optics (GMO).

This most recent delivery to NASA represents a mid life upgrade for the SMS program to replace failing, obsolete 26" monitors and will keep the space shuttle simulator operational for the next ten years as required to support the International Space Station (ISS). This major simulator upgrade includes the replacement of six 26" monitors on each of the three simulators. Each monitor will be replaced with Barco MRPs and will include a custom mechanical interface to mate the MRPs to the existing optical system. Newly equipped with BARCO-EIS MRPs, this simulator is now described as the only high-fidelity simulator capable of training crews for all phases of a mission beginning at T-minus 30 minutes.

URL: http://www.barco.com

210.03 Spitz ElectricSky Uses Barco

Barco has announced the use of its BarcoReality 909 high resolution projectors for the launch of the Spitz ElectricSky product line. A single seamless image was created on a hemispheric dome screen by six BarcoReality 909 digital projectors. Spitz selected the BarcoReality's for their image quality. They are equipped with several high-end Application Specific Optimizations to perform a blended dome-projection. The Convergence on Green (COG) allows precise and accurate alignment of the multi-channel system and the Advanced Contrast Modulation results in superior luminance and color uniformity - not just for each projector but over the entire display.

210.04 UK Army Contract for E&S

Evans & Sutherland has agreed to upgrade the United Kingdom Army's tactics simulator for an undisclosed sum. E&S will update the Army's current Unit Level Tactics Trainer using components from the company's new Mission Command Trainer. The upgrade will include replacing the existing image generators for both student and instructor stations with E&S's PC-based Ensemble visual system, adding sensors to the existing training databases and porting the semi-automated forces feature from a Unix-based system to a Linux-based PC system.

URL: http://www.e&s.com

210.05 L'Oreal Research in 3D

L'Oreal Recherche researchers are using CATIA V5 CAD software from Dassault Systemes for education and research on the hair follicle. The 3D images present the mini-organ as it has never been seen before. There are 150,000 follicles in the scalp. Each is associated with a muscle, a sebaceous gland, and a sweat gland. The follicle produces hair fiber for about three years at which point a phase of rapid degeneration occurs (three weeks) followed by a three-month rest phase during which the hair falls out. In a process unique to humans, the follicle then regenerates itself from stem-cell reservoirs and once again begins production of the hair.

To date, one of the biggest challenges facing L'Oreal scientists was the difficulty of creating a clear and concise 3D image of the follicle. With CATIA V5, they can now create mock-ups or virtual models and visualize in 3D the relative position of the different components of this familiar yet surprising part of the body. The benefits are both educational and scientific. "Existing solid models of hair are not adapted for handling. Histological cuts have been performed with 2D tools, and it has not been possible to visualize, manipulate, or modify at will in space the different elements of the follicle," said Bruno Bernard, Project Director, Hair Biology Research, L'Oreal. The L'Oreal Group is the number one cosmetics company in the world, present in 130 countries with a worldwide turnover of 13.7 billion euros in 2001 and a staff of almost 50 000.

URL: http://www.loreal.com
URL: http://www.dsweb.com
URL: http://www.dsdvf.com

210.06 Solid Edge for Auto Parts Supplier

Automotive parts supplier Wuxi Risho Technology Co. Ltd., a joint venture business between Tokai Rika Co., Ltd. (Japan) and Hsin Chong International Investment Ltd. (Taiwan) has purchased 30 licenses of Solid Edge as their enterprise CAD standard platform. The company will use Solid Edge to design parts and accessories for automotive seat belts, child safety seats, baby safety seats and other products.

URL: http://www.solidedge.com
URL: http://www.eds.com

210.07 Reconstruction after Czech Floods

The massive reconstruction effort following August's floods is underway in the Czech Republic, with some help from 3D design software tools. The Czech Army will build more than 50 new bridges in less than two months after the flooded Czech rivers subsided. The floods claimed numerous bridges that are important to the Czech transportation system and vital to its economy. Altogether, the Czech Army deployed more than 6000 workers and 750 vehicles and machinery toward the Reconstruction and Protection operations, aimed at reducing flood impact. As possibly the worst flooding in nearly 500 years, preliminary research estimates material damages in excess of US$1.8 billion (CZK 55 billion and 1.8 billion Euros).

According to the Czech Ministry of Transportation and Communications, 219 bridges on first- through third-class roads were either damaged or destroyed when the rain-swollen rivers spilled their banks. The Czech army used the company's premier software for 3D design, Autodesk Inventor. During reconstruction, the entire bridge structure is first assembled on a river bank and then is "pushed" in place over the river. Creating a 3D design model within the software allows users to resolve weight and space issues on a computer before new construction begins.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com
URL: http://www.autodesk.cz

210.08 University of Toronto Visualization

Actuality Systems' Perspecta spatial visualization platform has been installed at the University of Toronto Computer Science Department. The 360-degree display will be used as part of the school's advanced research in human computer interaction and how users will work with the next generation of technology. The Perspecta platform consists of a dome-like spatial display and an application programming interface that enables application development. The system illuminates more than 100 million volume pixels, or "voxels," throughout a full range of 3D locations within its Lexan dome.

Perspecta is compatible with a number of visualization software packages. "We have two real objectives for the system," said Professor Balakrishnan. "First, we want to explore how the display can be used to better understand 3D geometric models and to build them in a more intuitive fashion. Second, we want to invent an entirely new interface."

210.09 Architects Developing and Adapting Prototype

CASCO, a full-service architecture/engineering firm, has purchased 55 licenses of Autodesk Revit building design and documentation system. CASCO serves major national and international retail, hospitality, and restaurant clients. Ranked 9th in the ENR 2002 Top Retail Design Firm list, CASCO specializes in developing and adapting prototype facility designs for clients such as Extended Stay America; Toys "R" Us; Circuit City; PETsMART; Payless ShoeSource; Zale Corporation; and Bed Bath & Beyond. By using Autodesk Revit for concurrent design and documentation, CASCO believes it can deliver higher quality buildings to its clients by improving its communication with contractors. CASCO was initially drawn to Revit as a presentation tool but soon became interested in its potential to revolutionize mainstream CAD technology.

URL: http://www.cascocorp.com
URL: http://www.autodesk.com

210.10 Architectural Visualization Services

3D virtual photography solutions from ART VPS have helped TTPCom to visualize their headquarters building currently undergoing construction near Cambridge, UK. Virtual Artworks, an architectural visualization services company, created the images of the building using ART VPS's RenderDrive product. London-based Michael Aukett Architects, who designed the new building, engaged Virtual Artworks to create images that would showcase how the glass-fronted building would look. The building is set behind a man-made lake with the lake and glass building reflecting each other.

URL: http://www.artvps.com
URL: http://www.virtual-artworks.com

210.11 Puma & Fujitsu-Siemens use i3D

The Viewpoint network of Content Partners have been responsible for delivering a number of high-profile clients, most recently Fujitsu-Siemens via German Content Partner, Egisys and Pumaville.com through the development agency, TestaRossa. Viewpoint and Egisys signed a license agreement with Fujitsu-Siemens to utilize Viewpoint Experience Technology (VET). Fujitsu-Siemens has placed interactive VET content on their Web site that includes an interactive product tour for their new line of desktop and notebook computers. TestaRossa ToolsInMotion has purchased a Viewpoint license and created an interactive retailing site for Pumaville.com which displays and markets various Puma merchandise and demonstrates a series of extreme sports stunts. The character animations for the stunts were converted into VET interactive digital assets through Poser 4 Pro, by recording the activity of four professionals during motion-capture sessions.

URL: http://www.fujitsu-siemens.com/3dtour/
URL: http://www.pumaville.com/1993d/frame.html
URL: http://www.viewpoint.com
URL: http://www.egisys.com
URL: http://www.toolsinmotion.com

210.12 Manufacturing Industry White Paper

Thanks to Thomas Tannert at SGI for pointing us to a white paper written with the input of a number of professionals in the manufacturing industry. The paper is focused on the Return on Investment of Reality Center technologies at three manufacturing companies: TWR, QMI Solutions, and Thomson multimedia.

URL: http://www.sgi.com/Products/PDF/3202.pdf

210.13 Floor Mapping System

ActivMedia Robotics has a new floor mapping system, LaserPlans, for building and property professionals - combining its intelligent mobile robotics technology, laser sensing systems and software. LaserPlan is a maneuverable, lightweight and intelligent wheeled sensing device. As it is pushed around a building, it simultaneously measures the distance to 180 points in a room many times a second, plus gathers odometric data and recorded audio. LaserPlans software then uses this data to create an electronic floor plan of the building, which is stored in a database for easy access. Plans can be enhanced with labels, annotations and interactive photos. Dimensions automatically appear between any two selected points on the plan and may be stored for printing or viewing.

Buildings now are typically measured by hand with a measuring tape or a single-point laser range-finding device. An architect or construction professional usually takes the measurements by sketching the room and noting the dimensions by hand. With a measuring tape and pad of paper, people might measure approximately 1,000 sq ft per hour, showing only the most important dimensions in each room whereas LaserPlans data collector is said to measure over 1,000 sq ft per minute.

URL: http://www.activmedia.com

210.14 Hand-Worn Controller

EB Games (formerly known as Electronic Boutique), a large retailer of video game hardware, software, and PC entertainment software and accessories, will be one of several companies to roll out Essential Reality's new peripheral product, the P5. Based upon Essential Reality's proprietary bend sensor and tracking technologies, the P5 is a hand-worn controller that gives users intuitive interaction within 3D environments. While the P5 can function in "mouse-mode" right out of the box, it is designed to deliver an enhanced experience that frees PC game players from the constraints of having to utilize complicated keyboard and mouse combinations. Software "patches," which consumers can use to P5-enable existing popular PC games, will also be available on Essential Reality's website.

URL: http://www.essentialreality.com

210.15 Point-Based Surface Editing

The Computer Graphics Lab at ETH Zurich has released Pointshop3D, an interactive tool for point-based surface editing. Point-based representations allow for efficient 3D object acquisition, editing, modeling, and rendering. It generalizes 2D image editing operations to 3D point-sampled geometry and provides functionality for altering the shape and appearance of surfaces, including painting, texturing, filtering, and carving. Pointshop3D is intended to serve as an open platform stimulating research and development in point-based computer graphics. It provides interfaces for adding additional tools and extending its functionality, enabling users to experiment with new algorithms. Pointshop3D is distributed as free software, including source code and documentation.

URL: http://graphics.ethz.ch/pointshop3d

210.16 Moving People

ArchVision has announced the availability of two new RPC (Rich Photorealistic Content) libraries that build on the existing Moving People category: The 2.5D Moving Casual People (Seniors) delivers 16 pieces of content consisting of mature individuals in a variety of everyday environments and activities. Some of the activities include taking off/putting on a sweater, talking on a mobile phone, looking for something in a purse or bag and various small groups. The 2.5D Moving School Children collection contains 16 different RPC files school age children, ranging in age from 4-14, from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

URL: http://www.RPCnet.com

210.17 Tucan Series 2002

awaron ag has announced release of VR software, tucan series 2002. Along with its modularity and the modified licensing model this software offers several new and extended functionalities including a real-time-engine (1m Polygons with more than 10 frames per second on a standard PC) as well as the integrated real-time-modeller for the construction of models without use of a CAD-system or for the modification of imported models from other systems. awaron was founded in May 2001 by Jürgen Lautenschläger and Henry H Parrey. In September 2001, the software version 4.521 was bought from REALAX AG, Karlsruhe, Germany, and the respective customer service and support was also taken over.

URL: http://www.awaron.de

210.18 REALVIZ Stitcher Gateway to CATIA V5

In January 2002, Dassault Systemes announced REALVIZ as a new Partner to the Software Community Program. At that time, Dassault outlined the forthcoming program, in which REALVIZ would develop and sell two products, which would expand the rendering capabilities of CATIA V5 and ENOVIA Portal DMU Solutions, by enabling 3D PLM customers to integrate their 3D virtual products into real environments. REALVIZ has confirmed that the first product outlined, REALVIZ Stitcher Gateway to CATIA V5, will shortly be available for purchase.

URL: http://www.realviz.com

210.19 Discreet Appoints Oregon3D

Discreet has appointed Oregon3D as an authorized training center for Discreet 3ds max, combustion 2, flint, flame and smoke. The only independent training center in the United States to offer courses on Discreet flint, flame and smoke, Oregon3D's facility provides a collaborative learning environment for a variety of courses in 3D animation, special effects, compositing, editing and real-time image generation.

URL: http://www.oregon3d.com

210.20 New President/CEO for VRCO

VRCO Inc has named Dr Glen Wheless to the position of President/CEO. He succeeds Jim Costigan in these roles who stepped down in last month. Mr Costigan has taken on the position of Chief Marketing Officer to concentrate his efforts on the sales and marketing fronts of the company. VRCO's other co-founders Matt Szymanski, Chief Technology Officer, and Dr. Cathy Lascara, Chief Operating Officer, continue to serve in their respective positions. Dr Wheless previously served as the CTO for Digital Environmental Solutions, a 3D visualization applications software firm, and as the Director of the Virtual Environments Laboratory at Old Dominion University.

URL: http://www.vrco.com

210.21 Intergraph Seeks New CEO

Intergraph Corporation's Jim Taylor has announced his intention to retire as CEO. Taylor is also Chairman of the Board. Intergraph's Board of Directors has created a search committee comprised of outside directors and has retained Christian & Timbers, a global executive search firm, to lead the search for a new CEO.

URL: http://www.ctnet.com
URL: http://www.intergraph.com

210.22 RealVue Hires VR of Sales & Marketing

RealVue Simulation Technologies Inc has hired former Gartner Senior VP of Worldwide Sales Wayne Adams as its new vice president of sales and marketing. RealVue provides custom simulation software to the commercial industrial and manufacturing sector.

URL: http://www.realvue.com

210.23 Resignations at Superscape

Philip Crawford has resigned as a non-executive director of Superscape "in order to restructure his portfolio of interests." This resignation follows that of Richard Hooper who has been appointed Deputy Chairman of the UK's Office of Communications (Ofcom). The company has appointed Evolution Beeson Gregory Ltd as its financial adviser and broker.

URL: http://www.superscape.com

210.24 Worth Watching: BMW

Microvision has been working with BMW to create a projection display system for rear-seat entertainment. The display has been integrated into a BMW 7 Series research car. The display system makes use of a laser projection system developed by Microvision, and a screen mounted to the back of a front seat, enabling rear seat passengers to view high-resolution, full-motion video images in vivid color. The viewer can also adjust the position of the viewing surface by means of an electronic actuator. A scanning projection system combines individual red, green and blue laser light sources to form a single spot, which is then reflected off of a tiny vibrating mirror on a silicon chip and scanned through an optical system.

URL: http://www.microvision.com

210.25 Worth Watching: Automobile Navigation

FlyOver Technologies has announced that the company's Visual Map technology was implemented in Kenwood's latest release of a Hard Disk Drive-based Car Navigation System in Japan, enriching users with Aerial map "Sky Cruise View". It is claimed to be the first car navigation system where aerial imagery is implemented as a realistic 3D navigation map with all map attributes. Using the database of aerial imagery, "Sky Cruise View" can indicate the current car position and trace the car movement in real-time via an on board GPS. In addition the "Sky Cruise View" provides route guidance and Point of Interest placement. "Sky Cruise View" can be displayed on split screens, can change map scales and angle of view continuously, and can scroll or turn around freely. The same familiar digital maps user interface, feel and use are implemented in the new "Sky Cruise View". "Sky Cruise View" supports 13 major Japanese cities.

URL: http://www.2flyover.com

Events & Calls for Papers

210.26 PRESENCE 2002

PRESENCE 2002, Portugal on October 9-11, 2002

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

210.27 IEEE Visualization 2002

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/

210.28 CyberTherapy 2003

This year's theme acknowledges the increasing use of advanced technologies, including VR, in mental health, disabilities and rehabilitation. San Diego, California, USA - 19-20 January 2003.

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

210.29 IEEE VR2003

IEEE VR2003: Los Angeles, USA - March 22 to 26, 2003. The deadline for Tutorial and Workshop Submissions has been extended to October 1, 2002.

URL: http://www.vr2003.org

210.30 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

210.31 Casa'2003 - Call for Papers and Tutorials

The 16th International Conference on Computer Animation and Social Agents (Casa'2003). Rutgers University - May 7-9, 2003

URL: http://www.cbim.rutgers.edu/conferences/casa2003

210.32 SIGGRAPH 2003 - Call for Participation

SIGGRAPH 2003, the 30th International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, which will be held 27 - 31 July, in San Diego, California, USA, has issued its Call for Participation looking for both first-time and veteran contributors in three areas: presentations, experiences, and services. The presentations are Courses, Educators Program, Papers, Sketches and Applications, and Web Graphics. The experiences are Art Gallery CG03: Computer Graphics 2003, Computer Animation Festival, and Emerging Technologies: Electronic Speedway. The call is also seeking volunteers and support for services, which are GraphicsNet, International Resources, Pathfinders, and Student Opportunities.

URL: http://www.siggraph.org/s2003/cfp

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.
Forward to next week
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