Elpub buttonVirtual Reality News: 28th February 2003

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"I am convinced that real-time rendering is the future...
the best way of communicating a project of this scale to the public."
Craig Edwards, visualization manager at RMJM. (See item 221.01 below.)

Users, Applications & Projects
01 Scots See the Road Ahead
02 LiveActor, an HDC Research Facility
03 What do You Think?
04 Modeling Software for The Hillier Group
05 Snecma Gets Enhanced Visualization Tools
06 Ghent University Gets SolidWorks 3D CAD
07 $10.8m Award for E&S
08 Fakespace Systems Help the Army
09 Simulation Software for MCC
10 Pearson Education User 3D Animation
11 Simulation Modeling for CFD

12 Computer Graphics Medical Application Prize

Products & Services
13 Stereoscopic Immersive Environments on Linux
14 Onyx Compatibility Issue Resolved
15 SpaceBall 5000
16 SpaceNavigator
17 StereoGraphics for Mac OS X
18 EON Support for SolidWorks
19 Samsung WiseVIEW
20 PhotoWorks - New Version
21 ModelPress Publisher 3.0 3D

Companies & Markets
22 Specially-Priced CATIA Student Version
23 Virtalis (ex-Virtual Presence)
24 GL Studio on iHawk
25 Cimmetry & Hummingbird
26 Ascension Technology & Applied Science Laboratories
27 LMS International & ANSYS
28 Bentley V8
29 R&D Grant for Immersion

30 Ascension Hires Internav Staff
31 Congratulations to Jang Yong Pil
32 REALVIZ Signs Peter Butler

33 Leverage Capabilities of PCI Express
34 Mobile Gaming
35 $26m Order for SGI
36 Tough Times at Sun
37 And Then There Were Three, Again?
38 Sign of the Times

Events & Calls for Papers
39 New Format to Save Your Download Time
About VREfresh

221.01 Scots See the Road Ahead

Software developed by Cubicspace was used by architecture and engineering practice RMJM for the public consultation held by the commissioning bodies into the proposed motorway completion project that will connect the M8 to the M74 in Glasgow's East End. Eight kilometers of motorway, with three lanes in each direction, will be built. The £250 million project is set to cut congestion and will create around 350 jobs during the three-year construction phase and up to a further 12,000 as urban regeneration attracts further investment. Glasgow City Council's Land Services division was awarded the commission to design and deliver the new stretch of motorway. An important part of this process was the public consultation, and the council was particularly keen to explore the role that IT could play. In particular, it was interested in how best to communicate the visual impact of the new road to interested parties.

The use of artists' impressions, physical models and traditionally-created computer renderings and fly-through movies would have gone some of the way, but such techniques would not have given the high level of interaction and realism the council wanted to achieve at a variety of exhibition locations. Craig Edwards, visualization manager at RMJM's Glasgow office: "In effect, the council wanted a dynamic, real-time photorealistic rendering but they wanted it to run on inexpensive PCs in public libraries rather than in a specially-built VR suite. It was the first time we had tried a real-time visualization project of any kind so we were very much in at the deep end. The project had to be completed in just four months so we had to get things going very quickly. We had to model eight-and-a-half kilometers of terrain along the proposed route, the width varying between 200m and about a kilometer. This geometry was modeled to an accuracy of 25mm along the whole route. This was more precise than the brief specified but we didn't want to give any false impressions so we went for the maximum achievable from the survey data we were given."

Further precision is evident in the rtre model in the level of detail achieved for individual buildings. The raw survey data only gave building heights and roof pitches, so to add further verisimilitude RMJM had to map photographs of individual offices and houses to their outline geometry in 3ds max. In all some 300 buildings were photographed for the project, most of which appear as textures mapped to building geometry in the rtre model. RMJM was also provided with aerial photography and accurate images for the signage that would appear on the motorway itself. What we ended up with was a massive model containing some very complex geometry and a huge number of different textures, all of which we had to render and display in real time on a standard PC.

URL: http://www.rmjm.com
URL: http://www.cubicspace.com
URL: http://www.m74completion.com

221.02 LiveActor, an HDC Research Facility

The University of Pennsylvania's Center for Human Modeling and Simulation (HMS) has combined Ascension Technology's ReActor motion tracker with EON Reality's display and software to form LiveActor, an important new research facility. LiveActor is a full-size immersive environment where live subjects can interact with virtual people in various training applications. LiveActor has been designated an EON Homeland Security and Defense Center (HDC). To date, EON has developed five HDCs. At the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation, the LiveActor HDC is designed to train emergency personnel, security personnel, cross-cultural sensitivity, foreign language and cultural immersion.

According to Dr. Norm Badler, Director of the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation and Professor of Computer and Information Science, "These areas require close-up virtual humans with appropriate behaviors and input channels that can inform them of the emotional or physiological state of the trainee. Some of the methods we use will include facial expression tracking, gesture quality recognition and speech analysis."

LiveActor was made possible through grants and support furnished by the National Science Foundation, University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science, Ascension Technology Corporation and EON Reality. Funded as a research facility, LiveActor will be used by graduate students in HMS and undergraduate students in the University's Digital Media Design program as well.

URL: http://www.eonreality.com
URL: http://hms.upenn.edu/
URL: http://www.ascension-tech.com/products/reactor

221.03 What do You Think?

A VREfresh reader writes: "You can see 3d reconstruction of the exhibition of the French painter Nicolas Canu at the historical place "Arsenal de Soissons". You can visit the exhibition in 3d real time (vrml2)."

URL: http://www.lk-3d.com/canu/arsenal.htm

Tell us what you think of this site (and VRML2) by email to VREfresh

221.04 Modeling Software for The Hillier Group

The Hillier Group, an architecture, planning, and design firm headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, has purchased 75 licenses of Autodesk Revit building information modeling software for use in its six offices nationwide. By employing the Revit building design and documentation system, Hillier expects to provide higher quality services to its diverse owner/developer client mix while forging better partnerships with builders and consultants. Microsol of New York City was the computer reseller who worked with Autodesk and Hillier on this transaction.

URL: http://www.autodesk.com

221.05 Snecma Gets Enhanced Visualization Tools

Snecma has chosen LMS Optimus to form the core of their strategic optimization project. LMS Optimus will drive the diverse application codes from Snecma's design divisions for aircraft, rocket and helicopter engines. In addition to streamlining the design process, LMS Optimus will provide enhanced visualization tools for data interpretation. Snecma's objective is to reduce the design time for new engines. Optimus will drive a combination of in-house code and off-the-shelf software that presently operate separately for structural calculations, aerodynamics, combustion, acoustics and thermal analysis. Optimus will allow Snecma to run and optimize in a single process. Snecma has annual sales of 5.6 billion Euros (2000). Customers include Airbus, Arianespace, Boeing, Dassault Aviation, Eurocopter and other prime contractors, plus more than 1,700 airlines, armed forces and helicopter operators.

221.06 Ghent University Gets SolidWorks 3D CAD

Students at Ghent University, one of the leading institutions of higher education and research in Belgium, are preparing for engineering design careers with SolidWorks 3D CAD software. Ghent University students are bringing project designs to life for everything from dentist chairs to bicycles using 100 seats of SolidWorks. A team of two students working in cooperation with the school's department of medicine redesigned a dentist chair in only a few weeks using SolidWorks, a feat that would have required almost a full semester in 2D. Ghent University is working with CADMES for ongoing support.

URL: http://www.rug.ac.be
URL: http://www.solidworks.com

221.07 $10.8m Award for E&S

The Naval Air Systems Command, acting for the Defense Modeling and Simulation Office, has awarded Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp a $10.8m, three-year contract. The objective of the contract, entitled the "Rapid Database Generation Research Initiative," is to conceptualize, create and test an architecture and process that will enable imagery and sensor data from disparate sources to be rapidly validated, correlated, distributed and displayed in a standard format. Work will be performed at the company's Salt Lake City headquarters, in conjunction with Photon Research Associates (PRA). PRA will provide imagery and image processing support for the project.

URL: http://www.es.com

221.08 Fakespace Systems Help the Army

Some of the world's most advanced immersive visualization systems are helping to speed the design and test of armored vehicles at the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC). In one recent project more than 1,000 soldiers, project managers, trainers and other army personnel and contractors interacted with 3D computer-generated models, or virtual prototypes, of a new mid-sized armored vehicle design in the first year of the design process. This multidisciplinary collaboration helped the design team meet an accelerated project timetable while managing costs through the elimination of several physical prototype builds and the reduction of rework.

TARDEC's innovative use of immersive visualization dates to the early 1990s. The organization has worked with Fakespace Systems on several generations of technologies that enable realistic manipulation of three-dimensional, stereoscopic, computer-generated models. In September 1997, TARDEC installed its first CAVE display system in Warren, Michigan, which was followed by a second CAVE installation in 1999 in Fort Knox, Kentucky. A stereoscopic flat WorkWall display was installed at the Michigan site in 2000 and the organization began to work with networked collaboration between remote locations. In February 2002 TARDEC took delivery of a more flexible immersive environment called the RAVE which was custom-built to TARDEC's specification.

URL: http://www.fakespacesystems.com

221.09 Simulation Software for MCC

DELMIA Corp, a Dassault Systemes company, has entered into an educational partnership agreement with Monroe Community College (MCC) in Monroe, Michigan. Under the terms of the agreement, the college has purchased two DELMIA simulation software products at a substantially reduced cost. MCC is utilizing DELMIA's IGRIP product for kinematics and robotic simulation in one of its engineering technology automation courses. DELMIA's Quest software is being used for factory floor simulation and for analyzing plant processes in the school's Quality Systems Technology Program. Most students involved in MCC engineering programs are part-time, enrolled in robotics and CAD courses, and serve as apprentices at Ford and Visteon.

URL: http://www.delmia.com

221.10 Pearson Education User 3D Animation

IDT Media's Digital Production Solutions (DPS) today has completed its first project in the educational market, a series of 3D animations for Pearson Education, the educational publisher. The 3D animations were developed for Pearson's "Sing, Spell, Read & Write" program, a 36-step interactive curriculum aimed at children from Kindergarten to third grade. Educating 100 million people worldwide, Pearson Education owns brands such as Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Scott Foresman, Pearson Longman, Pearson Education Technologies, and others. Pearson Education is part of Pearson, the international media company, whose primary operations also include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

221.11 Simulation Modeling for CFD

CFD Research Corporation of Huntsville, AL, a technology company in advanced multiphysics and multidisciplinary simulation, has licensed several modules of the Simulation Modeling Suite from Simmetrix. CFD provides solutions for multi-disciplinary engineering simulations and design for a wide range of applications. CFD Research Corporation will use the Simulation Modeling Suite as a base technology to develop easy to use simulation modeling for CFD and thermal applications that are tightly integrated with the user's design environment.

URL: http://www.simmetrix.com
URL: http://www.cfdrc.com/

221.12 Competition for CG Medical Application Prize

Over the past three decades computer graphics and visualization technology has played a growing role in providing added value to medical applications. For example, the medical field was the first to exploit volume visualisation and clinical applications were reported in the late 1970's that used the visualisation of bone from CT data in craniofacial surgery and orthopaedics. Today, CT, MRI, Ultrasound, SPECT and PET are all common sources of data for processing using computer graphics techniques and then applied within medical diagnostic, procedures training, pre-operative planning, augmented reality surgery, and many other areas.

The EG2003 Medical Prize acknowledges the contribution that computer graphics is playing in this field and is intended to encourage further development. Submissions are invited from researchers and developers who can demonstrate that a particular benefit has resulted from the use of computer graphics technology in a medical application that they have produced. The winner of the Medical Prize will be announced during the closing ceremony of the EG2003 conference. The author(s) of the winning entry will receive a total prize of 500 euros. Submission Deadline is June 30th 2003.

URL: http://giig.ugr.es/eg03/cfc/index.html

221.13 Stereoscopic Immersive Environments on Linux

Fakespace Systems and Xi Graphics have a new software driver that enables stereoscopic immersive environments to run on the Linux platform. Now Fakespace visualization systems that incorporate digital projection technology, such as the CAVE, RAVE II, WorkWall and ImmersaDesk, can run Linux-based applications using off-the-shelf graphics cards. Xi Graphics, thought to be the first company to provide Linux drivers for OpenGL applications for CRT-based visualization, developed new Linux-based drivers for the 3Dlabs Wildcat III graphics card, which is used to drive advanced visualization environments based on stereoscopic digital projection. (Digital projectors are considered to provide brighter and sharper images that are easier to control and maintain compared to traditional CRT-based projectors.)

URL: http://www.xig.com
URL: http://www.fakespacesystems.com

221.14 Onyx Compatibility Issue Resolved

Panoram Technologies has announced the Extreme Bandwidth Scaler (EBS-1), a solution that claims to resolve a key compatibility issue with single-pipe SGI Onyx computers and three-projector stereo-optic capable visualization systems. The solution is said to provide a way to upgrade these systems from CRT to DLP projection technology without costly expansion of the computer system. With the EBS-1, Panoram claims to be the only visualization supplier that can provide full stereo-optic functionality to a three projector DLP display system driven from an Onyx one pipe computer.

"There is a substantial installed base of visualization centers throughout the world who are ready to upgrade from CRT to DLP based projection technology," says Theo Mayer, Panoram President and CEO. "But they are not ready to upgrade to a two or three pipe Onyx solution. Christie Digital's Mirage projectors are stunning stereo capable DLP imaging devices, but there is a bandwidth issue that limits the use of these DLP marvels to two projector solutions with single-pipe Onyx computers. The EBS-1 allows the use of popular three projector configurations without the need to migrate to a three pipe Onyx."

URL: http://www.panoramtech.com

221.15 SpaceBall 5000

3Dconnexion has released SpaceBall 5000 with a new patented optical sensor providing drift-free and calibration-free operation with its non-wearing measuring system. The USB version offers a 6x higher data rate, providing more precision and control than before. There are 100,000+ current SpaceBall users. Estimated street price is $499.

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

221.16 SpaceNavigator

3Dconnexion has also announced SpaceNavigator designed for product lifecycle planning professionals and designers, providing the ability to review and build CAD designs, annotate models and review documents quickly and efficiently. SpaceNavigator will support numerous 3D Viewers, including eDrawings, ENOVIA 3d com, ENOVIA DMU Navigator and EDS Product Vision, as well as CAD design tools such as AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Edge and SolidWorks. The SpaceNavigator is available at $299.

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

221.17 StereoGraphics for Mac OS X

StereoGraphics' Stereo3D visualization products are now available on Mac OS X. Stereoscopic support in Mac OS X enables a new dimension of functionality in Life Science applications, allowing Mac users to experience the advantages of visualizing in Stereo3D.

URL: http://www.stereographics.com/

221.18 EON Support for SolidWorks

EON Studio and EON Immersive products now support SolidWorks 2003 3D CAD software. A SolidWorks Solution Partner Product, EON Studio allows users to create i3D applications using native SolidWorks data.

URL: http://www.solidworks.com
URL: http://www.eonreality.com

221.19 Samsung WiseVIEW

Samsung SDS has announced WiseVIEW Mobile, a 2D/3D visualization and collaboration software solution for design engineers. WiseVIEW Mobile offers a way for engineers to view, manage and collaborate with data in real time using the mobility and convenience of a PDA. WiseVIEW Mobile also enables over 200 file types to be viewed in multiple formats. Files from major CAD systems can be assembled on one platform, providing consistency and enhancing job efficiency.

WiseVIEW Mobile is available in two editions to suit the collaboration, data conversion, and mark-up needs of the individual and enterprise user. WiseVIEW Mobile Standard includes a 2D viewer, while WiseVIEW Mobile Pro offers 3D viewing. WiseVIEW Mobile's converter works by compressing Image, 2D and 3D files on the PC to JPEG, DWF and W3D formats, enabling more data to be contained on the PDA. WiseVIEW Mobile Standard is available at $99. WiseVIEW Mobile Pro will be available later this year.

URL: http://www.sds.samsung.com

221.20 PhotoWorks - New Version

SolidWorks has a new version of PhotoWorks. Designers and engineers can use PhotoWorks release 2 to create near photo-quality images of a finished product design. PhotoWorks release 2 is based on Mental Images mental ray software, used in digital film studios (for such recent films as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Matrix, and Spider-Man), videogame manufacturers, scientific laboratories, and other industries that require high-quality images. PhotoWorks release 2 will be available in Q1 as part of the SolidWorks Office and SolidWorks Office Professional suites of 3D design products.

URL: http://www.solidworks.com

221.21 ModelPress Publisher 3.0 3D

Informative Graphics Corporation has released its free ModelPress Publisher 3.0 3D model software product, which now supports Inventor R6 and SolidWorks 2003. ModelPress Publisher 3.0 now also has an available programming API specification for software developers. Since the release of the ModelPress 3D Publishing and Viewing system in November of 2002, IGC has recorded over 10,000 downloads of the free application. ModelPress Publisher and Viewer is designed to simplify the distribution of 3D CAD models so that they can become more commonplace in downstream business applications. ModelPress' compression technology reduces models sizes by 70 - 98%.

URL: http://www.infograph.com

221.22 Specially-Priced CATIA Student Version

IBM, Dassault Systemes and ENGINEERING.com Incorporated have announced the availability of a specially-priced CATIA student version. Distributed by ENGINEERING.com and based on CATIA V5R10, CATIA-Design for Student 1 Configuration (CS1) provides engineering students with design tools to perform 3D part and assembly design, generate production drawings, create wireframe construction plans and work concurrently with other students in a virtual environment, from school or home.

Engineering students at more than 1,200 universities around the world that use CATIA will have access to CS1 in order to learn about and gain knowledge to a variety of advanced hardware and software technologies, thus preparing them for careers as professional engineers. CS1 is also available to students attending a CATIA Higher Education and Training (HEAT) institution or participating in a HEAT project. HEAT is an IBM program that provides more than 100 colleges and universities around the world with technology and curriculum content to implement CAD/CAM training. It has been implemented in a wide variety of institutions, including graduate and undergraduate 3programs.

URL: http://www.ibm.com
URL: http://www.3ds.com
URL: http//www.engineering.com

221.23 Virtalis (ex-Virtual Presence)

Virtual Presence has been the subject of a "Buy In Management Buy Out" (their words, not ours). Terms were not disclosed. The company will now be known as Virtalis, but it will retain its trading operations of VP Integrated Solutions and VP Defence. The firm spun out of a government sponsored advanced research centre and was later known as VR Solutions. A new senior management team plans to "re-energise and expand" the company. Professor Bob Stone, recently appointed Chair in Interactive Multimedia Systems at the University of Birmingham, will continue part-time at Virtalis, as the company's communications, training and defence specialist.

URL: http://www.vrweb.com

221.24 GL Studio on iHawk

Concurrent Computer Corporation has signed a reseller alliance that will make GL Studio software available on Concurrent's iHawk Series 860 systems through Concurrent's worldwide sales force. The agreement offers Concurrent's commercial and government simulation customers a Intel/Linux-based platform with rapid application development tools for creating real-time i3D graphics. GL Studio is a rapid application development ("RAD") toolkit for building photo-realistic, i3D graphical displays and simulations with real-time performance.

URL: http://www.simulation.com
URL: http://www.ccur.com

221.25 Cimmetry & Hummingbird

Cimmetry Systems's AutoVue now integrates with Hummingbird DM, an integral component of Hummingbird Enterprise. Hummingbird users can view and markup over 200 different 2D/3D CAD, engineering, EDA and office document formats, directly from within their DM interface.

URL: http://www.cimmetry.com
URL: http://www.hummingbird.com

221.26 Ascension Technology & Applied Science Laboratories

Ascension Technology Corporation has formed a strategic alliance with Applied Science Laboratories (ASL), the eye-tracking technology company, who will now exclusively market Ascension's magnetic motion trackers as their magnetic tracking solution in their head and eye tracking products. As part of their new alliance, the two companies will join forces to promote integrated head-eye tracking systems around the world. The two companies will also strategically work together to market and develop new applications for fully integrated head-eye tracking.

URL: http://www.ascension-tech.com
URL: http://www.a-s-l.com

221.27 LMS International & ANSYS

LMS International and ANSYS Inc have signed reciprocal agreements for the cross-licensing, integration and distribution of engineering technologies that expand the solutions they both provide for virtual product development. In the initial phase, ANSYS will develop and distribute a motion simulation product built upon LMS DADS multiple -body dynamics technology, and LMS will develop and distribute a non-linear flexible body co-simulation capability built upon ANSYS structural analysis capability. This announcement expands on an earlier arrangement to interface their respective flagship products, LMS Virtual.Lab and ANSYS Workbench.

221.28 Bentley V8

Bentley Systems has released its V8 Generation products. This combination of products, including MicroStation V8.1, its applications, and all Bentley collaboration servers, offer integrated functionality for the building, civil, geospatial, and plant vertical markets. Bentley is simplifying and standardizing the licensing of all of its collaboration servers. First, each collaboration server is available at a set price regardless of the number of clients served. Second, client-side access is available through new license types called Universal Client Licenses (UCLs), which grant access to every collaboration server implemented in an enterprise. UCLs allow these enterprises to place their Bentley client licenses in a centralized pool for all servers versus distribute them in pools for each server easing administration, improving software and hardware utilization, and increasing user access.

URL: http://www.bentley.com

221.29 R&D Grant for Immersion

Immersion Corp has won a $489,000 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program pays for research and education in science and engineering at 10,000 academic consortia, non-profit institutions, and small businesses each year. The research funded by the NSF SBIR grant will support Immersion's ongoing work with Dassault Systems, maker of CATIA, one of the most widely used CAD software products with more than 180,000 users worldwide. Over the next two years, Immersion will use the grant funds to develop new CATIA software to work with Immersion's CyberForce glove, a whole-hand 3D interaction glove, and computer mice.

URL: http://www.immersion.com

221.30 Ascension Hires Internav Staff

Ascension Technology has added 75 years' magnetic tracking expertise to its company by hiring the entire staff of Internav, a company which dissolved at the end of 2002. Established in 1997, Internav developed magnetic tracking devices for use in minimally invasive medical procedures. In its five years, the company developed a number of custom tracking solutions for their medical clientele.

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

221.31 Congratulations to Jang Yong Pil

Jang Yong Pil, an automotive design student at Hong-IK University in Seoul, Korea, received a special award from Alias|Wavefront for best digital presentation at the World Automotive Design Competition sponsored by the Canadian International Auto Show. Jang won a seat of Alias|Wavefront DesignStudio, (retail value of $7,500 USD), and a cash prize of $1000 for his concept of Run/Turn/Stop, a sporty concept vehicle designed for the "taste and pocketbook" of a young university student. Sixty-eight entries, comprised of 90 students from twelve internationally recognized design schools entered this year's invitational Canadian automotive design challenge.

URL: http://www.aliaswavefront.com

221.32 REALVIZ Signs Peter Butler

Peter R. Butler has been appointed Regional Sales Manager for the UK, Northern Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region of REALVIZ. He joins from Pinnacle Systems Ltd, where he also served as Regional Sales Manager for Northern Europe.

URL: http://www.realiviz.com

221.33 Leverage Capabilities of PCI Express

3Dlabs plans to provide Wildcat graphics accelerators that leverage the capabilities of PCI Express, an emerging industry interconnect standard. By working with Intel, 3Dlabs is designing a new generation of Visual Processor Units (VPUs) to complement the improved CPU processing power and interconnect bandwidth that PCI Express delivers, allowing professional users to increase productivity. PCI Express is a low-cost, highly scalable, I/O interconnect technology that can be used to replace existing PCI, AGP and other bus systems. This generation technology currently runs at 250MBps per lane in either direction, providing 16GBps bandwidth in a 32-lane configuration. The PCI Express architecture provides I/O connectivity for graphics solutions while leveraging the recent increases in memory and processor subsystems. PCI-SIG is the Special Interest Group that owns and manages the PCI Express specification as an open industry standard.

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

221.34 Mobile Gaming

Games brought computer-generated graphics to a mass market. Maybe cellphones will do the same with mobile games. It is interesting to note a games publisher and wireless telecommunications provider working closely together. Will others have to play catch-up? THQ Wireless, a subsidiary of videogame publisher THQ Inc, and Verizon Wireless will launch a range of wireless games on Verizon Wireless' Get It Now service. The first game, available immediately, is THQ's WWE Mobile Madness. Verizon Wireless and THQ have structured a relationship that allows for a large suite of applications to be rolled out over the next several years. Verizon Wireless has 32.5 million customers.

URL: http://www.verizonwireless.com
URL: http://www.thq.com

221.35 $26m Order for SGI

The US General Services Administration, Federal Technology Service, on behalf of the Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), has issued an order for SGI hardware, software, and services worth $26 million over 42 months. Included in the order, NAWCAD will use new SGI systems for computational improvements, which will improve the support for the Joint Strike Fighter weapon system by increasing real-time processing capabilities and real-time high-fidelity representations of virtual platforms/systems immersed in a realistic synthetic battlespace.

221.36 Tough Times at Sun

Despite a stock near its 52-week low, Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Chief Executive, Scott McNealy, said Sun has faced times that were a lot tougher than today. While the company's revenue in its fiscal second quarter rose 6% sequentially, Sun's inability to provide an outlook for its current fiscal third quarter has created uncertainty over how its business is faring. In its fiscal second quarter, Sun posted a net loss of $2.28 billion, due largely to a merger-related charge. A year ago, the company's loss was $431 million. Excluding the charges, Sun earned $10 million and essentially broke even on a per-share basis.

221.37 And Then There Were Three, Again?

Once there was Sega, Nintendo and Sony. Then Microsoft joined and Sega left (hardware anyway). Now rumour has it Sega has two suitors mulling over bids for the company: Microsoft and Electronic Arts. Sega, once a leader in the videogame business, has stopped making its own game machines and now creates titles for Microsoft's Xbox, Nintendo consoles and the Sony PlayStation 2. Microsoft could get Xbox game titles and a boost in Japan. Electronic Arts could also use market growth in Japan and the company has, reportedly, approached Japanese game makers about launching a joint bid for Sega. Sega is currently expected to lay-off 20% of its American work force of 450. Sega recently agreed to join forces with Sammy, a profitable maker of machines for playing pachinko, a popular Japanese gambling game.

221.38 Sign of the Times

RHC Media Inc is said to have hired DeSilva & Phillips, an investment bank, to find a buyer for its Red Herring magazine, according to people familiar with the situation, a move that could lead to the shuttering of what was a hot title during the dot-com boom. An informed source says RHC is trying to sell the magazine, but has also told some publishers it is willing to sell just its list of subscribers.

221.39 Events

To make the VREfresh file smaller for you to download, you will find new event announcements and a calendar in each issue. Expanded details are available at the VREfresh Web Site.

URL: http://www.VREfresh.com

March 9-12: Web3D 2003 Symposium, Saint Malo, France
March 22-26: IEEE VR2003: Los Angeles, USA
April 1-2: OpenSG, Darmstadt, Germany
April 3: 3Dims VR workshop, Frankfurt, Germany
April 27-30: 2003 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics: California, USA
May 7-9: Casa'2003, New Jersey, USA
May 13-18: Laval Virtual Reality International Conference, Laval, France
May 22-23: Joint IPT/EGVE '03 Workshop, Zurich, Switzerland
June 3-5: EurographicsUK 2003, Birmingham, England
July 10-11: Vision, Video and Graphics 2003, Bath, UK
July 27 - 31: Siggraph 2003, San Diego, California, USA
September 1-6: Eurographics 2003, Granada, Spain

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

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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.
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