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Issue No.05 - September/October (2004 vol.24)
pp: 107-108
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Hardware
High-Speed Motion Capture
Vicon's motion-capture camera with a 4 million-pixel sensor uses the company's MX architecture. The MX40 can record 2,352 × 1,728 gray-scale pixels at 160 fps. On-board real-time intelligent image processing allows marker data to be processed close to the sensor in real time. Using Vicon's proprietary intelligent algorithms and high-resolution gray-scale images, users can identify marker centers and radii.
The MX40 camera connects via a single cable to the Vicon MX system. Custom-designed cables using robust Lemo connectors carry signal and power to the camera. Customizable cable lengths and the Gigabit Ethernet protocol deliver data from the camera to the Vicon MX kernel in real time. Visit http://www.vicon.com for more information.


Vicon's MX40 motion-capture camera

Low-Power Processors
Intel has expanded its Pentium M and Intel Celeron M processors with products suited for mini-notebooks, subnotebooks, and tablet PCs.
The processors are based on Intel's mobile microarchitecture and built using high-volume 90-nanometer process technology. The Low Voltage and Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M, in conjunction with the company's 855 chipset and the PRO/Wireless network connection family, are key components of Intel's Centrino mobile technology. The Pentium M processors feature such architectural enhancements as a 2-Mbyte level 2 cache, power-optimized 400-MHz system bus, and enhanced data prefetcher and enhanced register access manager for fast execution of instructions at low power. The Celeron M processor Ultra Low Voltage 353 offers users mobile-optimized processor technology and is compatible with the Intel 855 and 852GM chipsets. Visit http://www.intel.com/ for more information.
Mobile Workstation
Boxx Technologies announced GoBoxx, a high-performance mobile workstation suited for digital content creation.
The notebook-sized GoBoxx design is aimed at artists, animators, and editors. It features 256 Mbytes of double-data-rate video memory powered by an ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics card and Intel Pentium 4 processors performing at up to 3.6 GHz with 1Mbytes of L2 cache and two RAID 0 or RAID 1 hard drives. The system features a 17-inch WSXGA Ultrawide 1,680 × 1,050 resolution display and up to 2 Gbytes of memory. BOXX will offer the GoBoxx with 3D applications such as 3ds max and LightWave 3D, DV editing solutions like Adobe Premiere Pro, and real-time HDV editing solutions featuring Adobe Premiere Pro and CineForm Aspect HD on Windows XP.
GoBoxx pricing starts at $3,187. For more information visit http://www.boxxtech.com.
Keyboard for Lefties
FrogPad announced the left-handed version of the company's one-handed keyboard. The FrogPad keyboard is a one-handed, ergonomic keyboard that is one-fifth the size of a traditional keyboard. It's designed around the 15 most-frequently-used letters in the Roman alphabet. According to the company, after an average of eight hours of training and practice, most FrogPad users can achieve input rates of 40 words per minute.
For more information visit http://www.frogpad.com.
LCD Monitors
Eizo Nanao Technologies announced the addition of three models of LCD monitors. The 19-inch FlexScan L788 and FlexScan L768, and the 17-inch FlexScan L568 are the latest models in the company's SlimEdge series of LCD monitors. All models feature thin bezels around the perimeter of the screen. This design is complemented by color control and gamma correction features.
The models offer ergonomic designs with tilt and swivel angles of 41 and 70 degrees, and a height adjustment range of 100 mm. The screen also pivots 90 degrees into portrait orientation for viewing text documents or Web pages. The panel houses the power supply unit and can be removed from the stand for arm or wall mounting.
For more information and pricing visit http://www.eizo.com/.
Software
SolidWorks 2005 Advances Modeling
SolidWorks introduced SolidWorks 2005, the latest version of its flagship software for the 3D mechanical design market. According to the company, the product includes more than 250 customer-requested features.
Key enhancements from SolidWorks 2005 include an extensive design library for machine designers, a mold design validation tool, improved loft features for consumer product designers, application-specific user interfaces, an embedded editor for AutoCAD files, and a task pane on the SolidWorks desktop.
The product also includes the SolidWorks Rx tool, which reportedly helps users optimize their hardware and operating system environment for maximum performance. Plus, SolidWorks 2005 now lets users borrow network licenses even when disconnected from the network.
SolidWorks is available in three configurations: SolidWorks 2005, SolidWorks Office, and SolidWorks Office Professional.
For more information visit http://www.solidworks.com.


Screen shot of the MoldflowXpress material library from SolidWorks 2005

Extends Pliable Display Technology
Idelix Software released a software development kit for its Pliable Display Technology 3D application, which lets users view and interact with 3D models and large complex assemblies on local PCs and the Internet in real time, with no information occluded from view. PDT 3D works on a variety of platforms, provides customizable lens parameters, displays multiple lenses, and features visible lens controls.
The PDT 3D SDK is data independent, object-oriented, and extensible. It operates on Windows; Unix variants such as Solaris, Irix, and Linux; and Mac OS. The SDK was written in ANSI C++ to ensure compatibility with a wide range of C++ compilers.
For more information visit http://www.idelix.com/partners_sdk.shtml.
Create Interactive 3D Applications
Virtools released Virtools Dev, authoring software for creating interactive 3D applications. Key components of the product include an intuitive user interface to develop sophisticated applications by visually assembling objects and behaviors, the behavior engine to run interactive applications, the render engine to render graphics in real time, the Virtools Scripting Language to create low-level specific functions, and the software development kit to create custom behaviors.
For more information visit http://www.virtools.com/solutions/products/virtools_dev_features.asp.
Simulates Vehicles and Machinery
CMLabs released Vortex 2.3, a physics engine for simulating vehicles and machinery. The product's key features include performance improvements (due to code enhancements and the use of the Intel C++ Compiler on Windows and Linux platforms); optimized versions of the Vortex libraries, which are provided on Windows, and as an option on supported Linux platforms; and integration with WorldToolKit Release 10. Vortex 2.3 also features an improved constraint library and better support for composite collision models and sensors.
For more information visit http://www.cm-labs.com.
RenderPipe for Catia
ART VPS introduced RenderPipe for Catia, which integrates Catia and Enovia with ART VPS' RenderDrive visualization system. RenderPipe for Catia lets users create photorealistic images and animations of a product design by driving ART VPS' RenderDrive 3D rendering device from within Catia and Enovia through the Photo Studio workbench. Users can render the same Photo Studio solution interchangeably with the ART VPS renderer and the existing Catia renderer.
RenderPipe for Catia supports all Photo Studio Camera, Material, Animation, Sticker, Environment, and Shooting controls. Plus, most Photo Studio Light controls are supported. All image output formats are supported and image data may either be 8-bit per channel quantized or 32-bit floating point.
For more information visit http://www.artvps.com/catia.


Screen shot from ART VPS' RenderPipe for Catia

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