Wave Report 2039 (25-Jul-00)
The WAVE Report on Digital Media
3D --- Media Creation --- Shared Space
---Published by 4th Wave, Inc.---
The WAVE Report is Searchable on
2039.1 Hot Topics
SGI and Intergraph to Form Strategic Alliance
Reflex Systems Set to Build the 3D Human Race
3Dlabs Completes Acquisition of Intense 3D
2039.2 Story of the Issue
3Dlabs and RTViz Announce Collaboration
OpenTV and Spyglass Merger Completed
Brainbox Uses BOXX Technologies' FusionBOXX HD to Power
Five Lines At the New York Independent Film Festival
Time Warner Cable Chooses ReplayTV For First Personal TV
ParallelGraphics Launches 3D Software Suite
Wildcat 4210 Tops Viewperf 6.1.2 Benchmark
Portable 3D Scene Digitizer from 3rdTech
Microsoft Announces Support for Bluetooth Wireless
Macromedia Announces Macromedia Flash 5 Player
Wind River Deploys VMware Software
MGI Posts Trial Version of VideoWave III on Internet
2039.8 Digital Content Creation
Caligari Unveils trueSpace5
Linker Systems Announces Animation Stand Price Changes
and Announces Version 4.3 Supports Flash, Twain, and
3Dlabs Announces Variant of Oxygen VX1 for SGI SW
2039.10 Home Entertainment
Thomson multimedia Selected by Microsoft as Technology
and Component Supplier for Xbox Video Game Console
QDesign Launches Scalable Digital Music Platform
Fakespace Systems Expands Supplier Partnership with NASA
***SGI and Intergraph to Form Strategic Alliance
SGI and Intergraph, two companies that have led the development
of high-performance graphics workstations and software, announced
they intend to form a strategic alliance that allows both
companies the benefit of each other's products and expertise.
Under the proposed alliance, Intergraph plans to purchase $100
million in SGI products and services over three years. In
addition, SGI will acquire certain assets from Intergraph,
including Intergraph Computer Systems' Zx10 family of ViZual
Workstations and Servers. The Zx10 line will be exclusively
marketed by SGI and will complement its line of Intel processor-
based workstations, the Silicon Graphics 230, Silicon Graphics
330 and Silicon Graphics 550 visual workstations featuring VPro
Specific details of the alliance will be released within the next
Intergraph Computer Systems has developed hardware-high-end
workstations, specialty servers and digital video products-used
in creative and technical disciplines. Their Wahoo Technology
introduced Streaming Multiport Architecture, a system
architecture specifically engineered to improve both throughput
and performance for 2D/3D graphics.
SGI markets a line of graphics workstations and solutions,
including the Silicon Graphics O2, and Silicon Graphics Octane2
visual workstations for IRIX and the aforementioned 230, 330 and
550 visual workstations for Windows and Linux. The addition of
the Zx10 family of workstations and servers complements the SGI
offering and will allow the company to more fully address the
needs of its customers.
***Reflex Systems Set to Build the 3D Human Race
Reflex Systems, a developer of high-definition 3D human synthesis
software for the entertainment and technical content creation
industry will unveil the beta version of its Reflex|DRAMA
software at Siggraph 2000. Reflex|DRAMA is an off-the-shelf, 3D
software package for modeling, animating and rendering human
characters. With Reflex|DRAMA, 3D content creators in visual
effects, gaming, scientific and medical industries now have an
easier way to develop, render and animate 3D human models that
depict a high degree of realism.
Reflex|DRAMA's internal musculo-skeleton generation engine builds
successive layers of graphical human tissues-bone, cartilage,
tendons and fat-from scratch. By building human tissue models
organically from the inside out, a dynamic representation of the
human body, in close-up detail, is made possible.
Unlike current human modeling methods that treat human models as
geometric artifacts, Reflex|DRAMA uses a set of dynamic modeling
operations that are controlled using Reflex|DNA - the company's
technology for the design and description of 3D human beings.
Like genetic DNA, Reflex|DNA encapsulates the core definition of
a human form so photo-realistic models can be cloned or
reproduced with a number of variations by manipulating the
biological descriptions of the human traits. Character traits
like muscles, skin texture and hair are customized by specifying
their Reflex|DNA sequence descriptions through a visual
interface. The description is fed into the musculo-skeleton
generation engine that then builds human characters as a
succession of underlying tissue--bone, cartilage, muscle, fat,
skin. A 3D human model is generated from these processed
descriptions, eliminating the work of building geometric
structures or setting up mechanisms to control them.
The Reflex|DNA sequencer modifies the way the musculo-skeleton
engine builds each human being giving them their life-like
quality and differentiators. For instance, Reflex|DNA may contain
a sequence that instructs the engine to make a bone bigger,
smaller, add more fat, etc. The engine applies the specific
changes as it builds the layers. The end result is a character
with different human traits.
Reflex|DRAMA interfaces with motion capture tools and other
animation systems so that data can be exchanged and existing
Reflex|DRAMA runs on a Windows NT workstation. The product is
scheduled to ship in Q1, 2001.
***3Dlabs Completes Acquisition of Intense 3D
3Dlabs announced that it has completed its acquisition of the
assets of the Intense3D operation of Intergraph Corporation. The
acquisition was expected to close during the 2nd quarter of 2000
and be accretive to results in the 3rd quarter. However, due to a
number of factors, the acquisition did not close until the 3rd
quarter. Accordingly, 3Dlabs will incur certain one-time
acquisition related charges in the 3rd quarter and the
acquisition is now expected to be accretive on an earnings before
goodwill (EBG) basis in future quarters.
Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, 3Dlabs has issued
3,588,060 common shares to Intergraph as initial consideration
for the acquired assets, with an earn-out provision totaling up
to an additional $25 million, payable in stock and/or cash at
3Dlabs' option. The earn-out will be based on certain performance
metrics for the Intense3D operations for the remainder of fiscal
***3Dlabs and RTViz Announce Collaboration
3Dlabs and Real Time Visualization (RTViz), a division of
Mitsubishi Electric, announced a technical and marketing
collaboration to integrate the products of both companies. This
collaboration is expected to enable a new class of visualization
applications that require the blending of polygonal graphics and
voxel-based volumetric rendering. The first results of this
collaboration will be optimized drivers from 3Dlabs for its
Oxygen family of professional graphics accelerators that enable
the real-time integrated display of OpenGL graphics and volumes
rendered on RTViz VolumePro accelerators. These drivers are
expected to ship from 3Dlabs in the third quarter of 2000. Both
companies are investigating longer-term board and silicon level
inter-operability of their product lines.
Real Time Visualization, a division of Mitsubishi Electric has
pioneered the commercialization of real time 3D volume rendering
PC hardware. It's first product, called VolumePro, has been
shipping to OEMs and system integrators from industries including
medical, geophysical, scientific, industrial, simulation,
research and others since May 1999.
***OpenTV and Spyglass Merger Completed
OpenTV announced that it has completed its acquisition of
Spyglass. As an integrated entity, OpenTV will provide become a
digital interactive solutions company running on multiple
platforms for cable and satellite television operators,
broadcasters, and manufacturers around the world. Under the terms
of the merger agreement, stockholders of Spyglass will receive
0.7236 of an OpenTV Class A Ordinary Share for each share of
Spyglass common stock.
OpenTV is the worldwide provider of software, services and
applications that enable digital interactive television (ITV).
OpenTV provides a end-to-end solution for the development and
delivery of interactive services via digital satellite, cable and
The OpenTV set-top box software is licensed to 30 digital set-top
box manufacturers. OpenTV set-top box software has been shipped
with or installed in more than 7.8 million digital set-top boxes
worldwide and has been selected by 30 television network
operators in over 50 countries, including BSkyB in the United
Kingdom; TPS and Noos in France; PrimaCom in Germany; Via Digital
in Spain; GLA, the exclusive provider of DIRECTV in Latin
America; and EchoStar's DISH Network in the U.S.
Spyglass is a provider of strategic Internet consulting, software
and professional services that enable content providers, service
operators and device manufacturers to capitalize on the potential
of the Internet.
***Brainbox Uses BOXX Technologies' FusionBOXX HD to Power Five
Lines At the New York Independent Film Festival
Five days of five separate lives unfold against the backdrop of
the Washington D.C. Metro in Brainbox Productions' Five Lines.
Recently previewed at the New York Independent Film Festival,
Five Lines was shot entirely on HDCAM, on location in the
When Brainbox set about creating a full-length HD movie, they
knew they had to rely on technology that just a few years ago
didn't exist on any set or in any studio. For the filming,
Brainbox used Sony's HDW-700 HDCAM camera, down-converted to
standard definition Beta and cut using in-sync's Speed Razor 4.8.
The company cut the trailer at the same time on another system,
and then moved the project to BOXX Technologies' FusionBOXX HD
running Speed Razor 2000X.
Currently, Brainbox is using FusionBOXX HD to re-digitize and re-
render, or online, the entire feature from standard definition to
BOXX Technologies, together with eyeon Software, and in-sync
Corporation, have released an NT-based system for uncompressed
HDTV editing and compositing. FusionBOXX HD, BOXX Technologies'
contribution has an I/O architecture and PCI bus architecture
that enable fast, uncompressed HDTV editing and compositing. It
supports the 1080i, 1080p, or 720p standards and is available in
48-, 96- and 192-minute configurations or more.
FusionBOXX HD is designed as a central repository for all HD
content, providing a shared resource that can be accessed across
the network. FusionBOXX HD interfaces with HD videotape recorders
and HD video cameras, allowing for the configuration of a
complete HD solution.
***Time Warner Cable Chooses ReplayTV For First Personal TV Trial
Time Warner Cable and ReplayTV announced that select Time Warner
Cable customers in Southern California would soon be provided
with ReplayTV digital video recorders and the free ReplayTV
Service as part of their cable service. The 6-month trial, which
starts in August, will include a special ReplayZone, giving Time
Warner Cable customers a way to find and record the feature
programming they want to view.
With ReplayTV, viewers can pause, instant replay, rewind, quick-
skip, frame advance and watch in slow motion sports events and TV
shows. Using ReplayTV personal television technology with the
free ReplayTV Service, viewers don't have to miss their favorite
programs since ReplayTV automatically searches, finds and records
them for anytime playback. Viewers can also create personal
channels based on themes or shows. Every time viewers sit down to
watch TV, the most current episodes of their favorite shows are
available on ReplayTV.
ReplayZones enable networks to provide highlights of their
offerings while allowing customers to organize and manage their
viewing. The Time Warner Cable ReplayZone will categorize movies
into 10 genres. Customers will be able to select a genre like
"Comedy" and get a listing of all the comedy programming
scheduled to appear on pay-per-view in the next seven days. The
viewer can then indicate which programs should be recorded for
later viewing at their convenience.
***ParallelGraphics Launches 3D Software Suite
ParallelGraphics has unveiled a suite of software solutions for
the Web3D market with the introduction of Internet Model Optimser
(IMO), a first generation CAD optimizer, and Cortona Jet, a cross
platform Java applet for viewing VRML scenes.
IMO is a tool that provides an efficient way to optimize complex
3D CAD models for use on the Internet. Based on complex
mathematical algorithms, IMO optimizes objects on a shape-by-
shape basis, whilst maintaining the visual aspects of objects.
IMO's user-friendly interface is designed for those with little
or no CAD experience.
Cortona Jet is a small cross platform Java applet that enables
any standard Web browser with a Java virtual machine to display
3D scenes without the need for special plug-ins. It is the
smallest VRML browser in the world and is available across a
range of platforms.
***Wildcat 4210 Tops Viewperf 6.1.2 Benchmark
Intense3D announced that its Wildcat 4210 graphics accelerator
has captured the top scores in all five Viewperf and all three
APC benchmarks. The Wildcat 4210's performance scores were
included with SPEC's first official posting of the Viewperf 6.1.2
benchmarks, which feature more complex models for benchmarking
performance compared to the previous Viewperf 6.1.1.
The Wildcat 4210 is shipping in high-end workstations from
companies like Compaq, IBM, and Intergraph Computer Systems, and
is also the graphics power for a virtual Internet broadcast
system from RT-Set. Quantum3D will also use Wildcat products in
its Obsidian rack-mount system for visualization applications and
BOXX Technologies will debut the Wildcat 4110 and Wildcat 4210 as
graphics options offered in its 3DBOXX systems for digital
***Portable 3D Scene Digitizer from 3rdTech
3rdTech has announced the DeltaSphere-3000 Laser 3D Scene
Digitizer a laser scanner that produces panoramic, accurate 3D
point sets over large spaces. Based on research from the
Department of Computer Science of the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, the DeltaSphere-3000 produces detailed
models of large 3D scenes and objects. It can also combine
captured 3D data with color information for renderings from
Data produced by the DeltaSphere-3000 is ideal for a range of
-Recording dimensions for manufacturing, construction and
surveying in the aerospace, automotive, oil & gas, chemical and
-Model creation for accident and crime-scene reconstruction
-Data capture from car-crash tests
-3D scene creation for computer graphics applications in
interactive games, virtual reality, Internet marketing and
tourism, and CAD/CAM
-Capturing 3D sets and models for special effects creation in
movies and television
-Digitizing objects and scenes for simulation and training
The DeltaSphere-3000 is a portable system that resembles a video
camera on a tripod. It integrates into a single package a
computer-controlled laser-range finder with azimuth and elevation
positioning motors, an embedded CPU, a rechargeable battery pack,
and an optional digital color camera. In 10 to 30 minutes, the
DeltaSphere-3000 scans 150 elevation and 360 azimuth over a range
of one to 40 feet, capturing from 1-million to 50-million 3D
points. The DeltaSphere-3000 3D Scene Digitizer will be available
in the third quarter of this year. List price for a complete
system starts at approximately $45,000.
***Microsoft Announces Support for Bluetooth Wireless Technology
The Microsoft development team is creating native support in the
Microsoft Windows operating system support for Bluetooth wireless
technology. This support is targeted for delivery during the
first half of calendar year 2001. The specific delivery vehicle
is to be determined.
Microsoft supports the Bluetooth technology as a wireless bus,
complementing USB and IEEE 1394. The goal for the Microsoft
software support is to have it work with several types of devices
with Bluetooth wireless technology, such as PC peripherals, PC
companions, and devices bridged to network resources through a
The initial Microsoft software support for Bluetooth technology
targets the following scenarios:
* Device discovery and configuration
* Synchronization and file transfer via OBEX (the object exchange
* Dial-up networking, via cell phones and null modems. This
scenario also enables LAN access through the dial-up networking
* Generic third-party RFCOMM applications written to the primary
application programming interfaces (APIs) in Windows to support
The primary APIs to be provided as part of the Microsoft software
support for Bluetooth technology are:
* OBEX interfaces
* Windows Sockets 2 (Winsock)
* Telephony API (TAPI)
* Service Discovery Protocol (SDP) interfaces
Microsoft plans to provide support for hardware and software
products with Bluetooth wireless technology; Microsoft also plans
to provide applications that will take advantage of Bluetooth
technology. The solutions will support the initial usage
scenarios mentioned earlier, in addition to providing a more
flexible architecture for the future.
Call to action for partners developing products with Bluetooth
wireless technology for Windows:
* Work with your industry partners to develop and deliver stable
* Send your hardware to Microsoft for development and testing.
* Send your Windows driver stacks to Microsoft for compatibility
and upgrade testing.
* Send your applications to Microsoft for compatibility and
***Macromedia Announces Macromedia Flash 5 Player
Macromedia has announced a free Macromedia Flash 5 Player that
will enable developers to engage site visitors with various next-
generation Web applications. Macromedia Flash 5 is the
professional standard for producing high-impact Web experiences.
The Macromedia Flash 5 Player is integrated with server
technologies such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), for
structured data transfer, and Macromedia Generator, for
delivering server-created, real-time visual content to data-
intensive, content-rich, highly trafficked sites. For example, an
e-commerce site can use Macromedia Generator to process catalog
information based on user input, keeping the Macromedia Flash
content compact by moving all the data-intensive graphics
processing to Generator's scalable server infrastructure. The
Macromedia Flash 5 Player also has support for HTML formatted
text within Macromedia Flash content, as well as the ability to
maintain a persistent connection between the lightweight client
and server to share real-time XML information for mission-
critical business applications.
The player also uses the ActionScript language that can be
authored in Macromedia Flash 5, which has the same syntax and
backward compatible, which will enable Internet users to continue
experiencing Macromedia Flash content authored with earlier
versions of Macromedia Flash.
The free Macromedia Flash 5 Player is currently in public beta,
and is expected to be available in late August. Macromedia
Generator 2 Enterprise Edition delivers real-time, personalized
graphics to the Macromedia Flash Player for news and information
sites such as CBS Sportsline, e-commerce sites such as Tiffany &
Co., and entertainment sites such as Disney. This enables the
sites to update their Macromedia Flash content with interactions,
product configurations, and data visualization for personalized
applications. Macromedia Generator 2 Enterprise Edition is
available now and pricing starts at $30,000, including support,
and maintenance. Professional services and 24x7 support are
available at additional cost. It runs on Windows NT/2000, Sun
Solaris, and Red Hat Linux platforms. Registered users of
Macromedia Flash can purchase the Flash 5 Generator 2 Pro
Developer Upgrade for $648. This offering includes the upgrade to
Macromedia Flash 5 as well as Macromedia Generator 2 Developer
Edition at half of its $999 price until December 29, 2000.
Macromedia Generator 2 Developer Edition is now shipping and runs
on Windows 95/98/NT/2000, Sun Solaris, and Red Hat Linux
***Wind River Deploys VMware Software
VMware announced that Wind River Systems has deployed VMware
software to its development teams worldwide. Wind River is a
provider of embedded software and services for smart devices in
the Internet age. The company provides software development
tools, real-time operating systems, and advanced connectivity -
for use in numerous products in a range of markets.
Wind River's development team had been running its Tornado
development environment on Windows NT and Solaris, and, due to
developer demand, wanted to port it to Linux. However, doing so
would have required deploying another PC to each developer's
desk. Using VMware, the Wind River development team was able to
port the Tornado development environment to Linux without having
to purchase and deploy additional hardware.
The development team installed VMware for Windows NT and Windows
2000 on desktop machines running Windows NT. They were then able
to install Linux inside VMware virtual machines, allowing
engineers to develop for both Windows NT and Linux on the same
VMware is a provider of application and service delivery
platforms for desktop personal computers and servers. Based on
virtual machine technology developed at Stanford University,
VMware products allow single computers to run multiple, protected
sessions on any combination of Linux, Windows NT and Windows 2000
***MGI Posts Trial Version of VideoWave III on Internet
MGI, a provider of digital video, announced a downloadable 30-day
trial version of MGI VideoWave III at the VideoWave Web site. In
offering a downloadable trial version, MGI hopes to accelerate
the adoption of consumer video publishing, as well as to address
the demand for web-accessible product demos among web-savvy
consumers. The trial version of VideoWave, offers users all the
functionality of the full version product for a 30-day period,
after which users can purchase through one of the many retail or
online stores that carry the product.
VideoWave includes the ability to capture and produce video in
formats including native DV, with Windows Media web-streaming
format, and MPEG-2, with integrated GoMotion technology from
***Caligari Unveils trueSpace5
Caligari Corporation, a provider of 3D authoring tools, announced
trueSpace5, a version of its 3D modeling and animation program.
In trueSpace5 Caligari adds a full complement of NURBS-based
modeling tools, physically realistic rendering, and surfacing
features. In addition, support for IGES, SAT and STL formats
streamlines trueSpace5 compatibility with traditional CAD/CAM
applications, providing a real-time authoring tool for designers
that delivers modeling, rendering and animation power they
require, at a mid-range price.
TrueSpace's 3D user interface allows for real-time direct
manipulation in a hardware accelerated, integrated, 3D
perspective workspace where designers can interact intuitively
with 3D objects and environments. The DX7/OpenGL-based rendering
engine coupled with Intel SSE and AMD 3Dnow! CPU optimization
provides real time feedback on all operations.
Other interface enhancements include:
- context-based direct manipulation editing
- Magic Ring for interactive manipulation of primitive shapes
- Draw Panel for performing 2D operations directly in the 3D
- Tri-View Panel extends the Draw Panel into the 3rd dimension
for skinning and sweeps
- integrated visual asset libraries with universal drag-and-drop
- floating toolbars and individual tools to customize your
trueSpace5 expands the modeling toolset with a full
implementation of NURBS-based modeling tools including all
Sweeps, Rails, Lofts, Skinning, and Cross-sections. NURBS can be
combined with stitching, blending, filleting and cut with
trimming curves in real-time. NURBS Geometry Paint provides users
with a paintbrush to modify NURBS surface geometry in real time.
Other modeling features include:
- Real-time subdivision surfaces for easier texturing and
- traditional CAD-like layers, improved dimensioning, and 2D
- parameterized 2D and 3D primitives with Magic Ring visual
- enhanced snapping tools
A redesigned Materials Editor and IIR (incremental image
rendering) technology allow designers to move the resizable
material editor windows over any scene object and edit surface
materials directly with near real-time feedback.
3D paint tools can paint on textured surfaces with real-time
feedback using arbitrary bitmap as a brush. With real-time UV
mapping in trueSpace5, users can position and apply any texture
projection, using a 3D widget, and get feedback in solid textured
Physically accurate lights and image-based rendering technology
allow for a level of realism. Ten shaders include mapped
reflectance, shadow catchers, new fog, wood, leather, and
curvature visualization shaders.
For character animation, NURBS and subdivision surfaces can be
animated at the control vertex level, and trueSpace5 continues to
offer linear key-framed animation, and non-linear physics-based
animation with properties such as wind, gravity, and collision
detection. Now, with DX7 hardware geometry acceleration,
trueSpace5 lets users compute the radiosity solution
interactively, while navigating in real-time through a scene.
trueSpace5 for Windows will be available in the Fall.
***Linker Systems Announces Animation Stand Price Changes and
Announces Version 4.3 Supports Flash, Twain, and New Fujitsu
Linker Systems has changed the price of the Animation Stand
family of products.
New pricing is as follows:
Product Price Competitors prices
Cinema Edition $2,000 $5,000 to $16,000
Professional Edition $595 $3,000 to $6,000
(up to HDTV resolution)
Personal Edition free $199 to $499
Linker Systems also announced the 4.3 version of its Animation
Stand family of products. 4.3 supports additional formats, such
as Macromedia¹s Flash/Shockwave format and transparent GIF-
compatible files, as well as third-party scan interfaces, such as
Twain and the Fujitsu scanners.
Animation Stand¹s Flash files can be generated at a variety of
resolutions and quality levels, ranging from accurate full
screen, to small file sizes. Using Animation Stand, animators
can work using the traditional paradigm, without limiting their
style to match the program. Thus, the same exposure sheet and art
can be used to generate film, HDTV, TV, and Flash.
The addition of Twain support allows Animation Stand to scan
directly from almost any scanner. HP and Fujitsu SCSI scanners
are directly supported, and will not need a Twain driver.
There are three versions of Animation Stand:
-The Cinema Edition, with unlimited resolution, is priced at
$5,995, and is for film-based animation and/or special effects
-The Professional Edition, with resolutions up to HDTV (1,920 x
1,080 pixels), is priced at $595, and is for professional studios
producing for HDTV and TV, as well as for professionals and
amateurs producing full-screen multimedia or web animations and
-The Personal Edition, with a resolution of 256 x 192 pixels is
free, and is for those learning animation and special effects, or
producing small web animations.
***3Dlabs Announces Variant of Oxygen VX1 for SGI SW Monitors
3Dlabs announced that it is shipping a variant of the Oxygen VX1
professional graphics accelerator that has been engineered to
drive the Silicon Graphics 1600SW flat panel. The Oxygen VX1-
1600SW combines 3Dlabs' professional-strength 2D and PowerThreads
OpenGL performance with a dedicated LVDS output connector for
driving the Silicon Graphics 1600SW without the need for an
external adaptor. SGI is offering a bundle of the Oxygen VX1-
1600SW with the flat panel at an MSRP of $2895. 3Dlabs is
offering the board through its distribution channel, enabling
current owners of the Silicon Graphics 1600SW to upgrade their
graphics performance, at an MSRP of $499. The Oxygen VX1-1600SW
is shipping immediately.
The Oxygen VX1-1600SW retains all the performance and
functionality of 3Dlabs' Oxygen VX1 professional graphics card,
including 32MB of on-board memory, Virtual Texturing to enable
the board to act like a 256MB graphics card, and 3Dlabs'
PowerThreads OpenGL drivers that provide a multi-threaded
performance boost on multi-processor systems and are certified
with close to 60 professional applications. Oxygen VX1-1600SW
drives a VGA display connector and in addition integrates an LVDS
connector that connects to the Silicon Graphics 1600SW, enabling
the board to autosense either a Silicon Graphics 1600SW flat
panel or a standard display.
The Silicon Graphics 1600SW flat panel display presents LCD
technology in a 17.3-inch, wide-format screen with LCD backlight
color temperature control for enhanced color matching and range.
The 1600x1024 high-resolution display delivers all-digital
performance ideal for business, technical and creative
professionals. Silicon Graphics 1600SW models are available
through SGI resellers and distributors.
***Thomson multimedia Selected by Microsoft as Technology and
Component Supplier for Xbox Video Game Console
Thomson multimedia, a global provider of consumer electronics,
announced that it will provide Microsoft with optical disk drive
technology and components manufacturing for Xbox, the software
company's entry into the video games industry.
The agreement calls for Thomson to provide DVD-ROM drives along
with DVD and video compression (MPEG 2) technology for
Microsoft's video game console, which is scheduled for
introduction in 2001. Thomson expects this four-year agreement to
result in millions of DVD-ROM drive sales over the life of the
project. Xbox is expected to have a major impact on the video
game industry with the capability to play future-generation games
with movie- quality animation.
The DVD-ROM drive, which accepts and reads the optical codes for
the gaming discs, is an important Xbox component, and Thomson is
one of the world's largest suppliers of optical modules for DVD
and CD players. The company's Optical Key Modules Components
Operation produced some 15 million units in 1999.
***QDesign Launches Scalable Digital Music Platform Solution
QDesign Corporation, a provider of digital audio compression
technologies for the new media, broadcast and Internet delivery
markets, announced the launch of a technology designed to enhance
the digital music experience for both consumers and content
providers. Distinguished by features that ensure ease of use
among consumers and content providers, the QDX format offers
better-than-MP3 audio quality and flexibility for music download
The QDX technology is based on two concepts, audio quality and
size scalability. Fully optimized for Internet streaming, QDX
provides high audio compression at high quality, delivering, in
one single file, both CD-quality audio at 128kbits (12:1
compression) and full-bandwidth stereo at 24kbits (60:1
compression). QDX also supports inherent bitstream scalability
that offers users the Fit-To-Media and Fit-To-Stream
QDX's Fit-To-Media function allows consumers to click-and-drag
personal playlists to portable players without needing to
transcode or convert music files. Using QDX Fit-to-Media users
can store up to 2.5 hours of music on a 32MB portable digital
music player, compared to the maximum of approximately 30 minutes
of MP3 files.
The Fit-To-Stream feature of QDX offers master once, deliver
everywhere flexibility, meaning a single source file is all that
is required to stream music over an array of modem speeds,
bandwidths and connections.
In addition to compression quality and user convenience features,
QDX offers copyright owners the benefit of an unpublished format
with integrated encryption and watermarking which contribute to
preventing access to content by unauthorized players. QDX is
designed for SDMI compliance and is compatible with the
InterTrust's MetaTrust Utility and other industry-approved
digital rights management/copyright protection measures.
QDX is supported in Version 2.0 of MVP, QDesign's cross-platform,
multi-format, multi-purpose music & video player/encoder
application. A Software Development Kit for both MacOS and
Windows will be available to third-party application developers
with support for QDX encoding and playback as well as the Fit-to-
Media and Fit-to-Stream. The QDX decoder is available to all
portable device manufacturers on the Texas Instrument C5410 and
C5416 chipsets; complete reference designs supporting QDX are
available from QDesign partners eDigital and PortalPlayer. An
ARM-based implementation of the QDX decoder will be available to
all other devices this fall.
***Fakespace Systems Expands Supplier Partnership with NASA
Fakespace Systems, a provider of immersive visualization systems,
announced that it delivered a RAVE (Reconfigurable Advanced
Visualization Environment) System to the NASA Glenn Research
Center in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier this month. Installation of
the system, which will be used as part of a multi-facility
network of collaborative immersive environments, extends
Fakespace Systems' long-term supplier partnership with NASA.
The RAVE was purchased as a part of NASA's Intelligent Synthesis
Environment (ISE) Initiative, which aims to enable geographically
dispersed teams of engineers and scientists to collaborate in
full sensory environments.
At NASA Glenn, the RAVE will be used primarily to explore
computational fluid dynamics and structural analysis simulations
in an immersive, collaborative environment. As part of the ISE
initiative, engineers and researchers at other NASA sites, will
utilize bandwidth links between systems to share the environment
with the Glenn Research Center. This real-time, remote
collaboration will allow the researchers to work together as if
they were at the same location. Some of the additional NASA
facilities using Fakespace Systems displays as part of the ISE
program include the Langley Research Center, which has a CAVE
installation, and the Marshall Research Center, where an
ImmersaDesk M1 system is installed.
For more than a decade, NASA has worked with Fakespace Systems
and its predecessor companies (Fakespace and Pyramid Systems) to
secure advanced displays for "sense of presence" viewing and
interaction with computer-generated models and simulations. NASA
Glenn purchased the very first commercial ImmersaDesk R2 in 1996
and the Fakespace BOOM was originally developed for use at NASA
Ames in 1990. In an extension of this relationship, NASA will
continue to support the commercialization of advanced
technologies by allowing Fakespace Systems to bring prospective
customers and partners to the Glenn Research Center site, and to
use real NASA data in demonstrations.
The RAVE system at NASA Glenn consists of three self-contained
modules, which can be used as independent stereoscopic projection
display systems or in a variety of groupings. Each module
features an eight-ft. wide by seven-and-a-half-ft. high rigid
rear-projected screen at one end of an 11-ft. deep structure
containing one or more high-resolution CRT projectors. Equipped
with air casters, the modules can be raised approximately one-
inch off the ground, and one or two people can roll the units
into different viewing configurations. An overhead
projector/mirror addition to one module produces images on the
floor to enable a four-sided immersive room.
When positioned to form an immersive room, angled theater-like
configuration, a 24-ft. flat wall, or an L-shaped display, it
provides stereoscopic visualizations that appear to have a real
dimensional presence when viewed with special shutter glasses.
Head tracking and various handheld Fakespace devices for
manipulating the computer-generated visions in real-time add to
the "virtual reality" effect.
Copyright 2000 4th WAVE, Inc.
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