NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2007 (Vol. 27, No. 6) pp. 100, 98-99
0272-1716/07/$31.00 © 2007 IEEE
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
Tools and Products
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PX Head and Face Color 3D Scanner
Cyberware announced its Head and Face Color 3D Scanner designed to offer maximum coverage of scanning of the human head and face, increasing the scan coverage of the top of the head and undercut areas of the chin.
The scan head is an advanced implementation of Cyberware's 3D digitizing technology. The system incorporates a self-contained optical range-finding system with a dynamic range able to accommodate varying lighting conditions and surface properties. In operation, the Head and Face Color 3D Scanner shines a safe, low-intensity laser on an object to create a lighted profile. A sensor captures this profile. The system digitizes thousands of points in a few seconds capturing the shape of the entire object. At the same time, a second sensor acquires color texture information.
The digitized points are represented by X, Y, and Z coordinates for shape and 24-bit RGB values for color. The system transfers this data via a USB interface to your computer for immediate viewing.
For more information visit http://www.cyberware.com.
3D Printers Handle Big Jobs
The Dimension 3D Printers from Tekpro Group come in five models to work as a communication tool for all types of projects.
The Dimension Elite 3D Printer provides engineers and designers stronger, functional models using ABS Plus plastic. Elite generates models for products that need high strength and fine feature details such as consumer electronics and medical devices. The Elite 3D provides 768 cubic inches of build area and has an 8 × 8 × 12-inch build envelope.
Dimension SST 3D Printers use real-world ABS plastic to build prototypes. SST1200 provides 1,200 cubic inches of build area with a 10 × 10 × 12-inch build envelope. SST768 provides 768 cubic inches of build area with an 8 × 8 × 12-inch build envelope.
According to Tekpro Group, Dimension BST 3D Printers offer the lowest cost 3D Printer for product development, using the same ABS plastic to build prototypes as Dimension SST. BST1200 provides 1,200 cubic inches of build area with a 10 × 10 × 12-inch build envelope. BST768 provides 768 cubic inches of build area with an 8 × 8 × 12-inch build envelope.
For more information visit http://www.tekprogroup.com.
Power and Performance Booster
BOXX Technologies' Apexx 4 Super-Workstation and renderBOXX Classic 7500 delivers twice the processing power of its previous processors using AMD's new quadcore Opteron, according to the company. The third-generation Opteron is equipped with several power-saving technologies that provide high performance per watt for today's VFX studios. Apexx can now deliver the power of 16 cores.
With the quad-core Opteron, the renderBOXX Classic 7500 has more floating-point power. A new wide floating point accelerator drives up to four times the previous Opteron-equipped CPUs. This is a critical factor because ray tracing, the heart of rendering, is a floating point intensive computation.
For more information visit http://www.boxxtech.com.
Single-Chip Flat Panel TV Processor
Micronas announced the VCT-Premium, the third generation of its VCT family of single-chip flat panel TV processors. The VCT-Premium provides a platform for a full HD 1080p TV featuring integrated audio, video, teletext, on-screen display, controller-related functionalities, memory and program ROM, and a dual input port high-definition multimedia interface receiver. The chip offers state-of-the-art color processing. In addition to standard color space typically used for PAL or NTSC systems, it can accept content with the new extended color space (xvYCC) and expands the color formats to work with wide color Gamu panels. Television set designers can custom-map colors to their display panel of choice.
The VCT-Premium further improves picture quality by dealing with noise associated with digital TV. MPEG video coding can introduce "mosquito noise" and "block noise" to the video signal. The VCT-Premium eliminates this noise with advanced algorithms that reduce the digital noise effect while maintaining the picture sharpness.
For more information visit http://www.micronas.com.
Virtualization Host Server
eRacks Open Source Systems announced its virtualization host server, the eRacks/Suite. The dual dual-core Opteron rack mount server is qualified to enable hardware virtualization, running several virtual machines at near-native speeds. The preinstalled software enables one system to do the work of several independent appliance servers simultaneously. Virtualization is a solutionfor those who must maintain multiple environments, plan server consolidation, or create testing sandbox environments for new applications.
The eRacks/Suite model can be configured with open source VMWare or Linux-native KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) virtualization software as well as a large number of possible virtual operating systems and applications, including Web, DNS, email, proxy, and other infrastructure services.
For more information visit http://www.eracks.com.
Displays Bring Better Focus
ATDEC announced two Visidec Focus mounting systems for flat-panel displays that range in size from 12 to 22 inches. The Visidec Focus Micro is a desk pole mount system designed specifically for business, retail, and commercial applications. The Visidec Focus Wall is a space-saving wall mount designed to work in any room of the home, small business, or commercial environment. ATDEC's mounting systems feature designs that integrate into any environment. Both mounts incorporate ATDEC's FlexiStar mechanism, an adjustable display mounting head featuring extendable tabs for adjustment from 3 × 3 to 4 × 4-inch VESA mounting labels. The wall and desk mounts use ATDEC's internal cable management system to ensure a clutter-free environment.
The Visidec Focus Micro costs $149.99, while the Visidec Focus Wall costs $179.99.
For more information visit http://www.atdec.com.
ESP for Cell Phones, Smart Phones
MyRapidMD's ESP is a proprietary software application designed specifically for cell phones and smart phones. The application provides a concise emergency service profile (ESP) based on an internationally recognized victim assessment procedure used by first responders. MyRapidMD has formatted this procedure into a mobile software application that also attaches a photo of the cell phone owner to confirm the identity in emergency/accident situations. ESP can easily be retrieved and displayed by first responders by selecting the ESP logo or the letters ESP from the phone's desktop menu or applications folder.
Developed in concert with firemen, paramedics, emergency room nurses, and other first responders, MyRapidMD's ESP mobile software application can assist first responders at the emergency/accident scene in the assessment and treatment of victims. MyRapidMD's ESP turns a cell phone into an efficient and effective emergency information tool for receiving emergency room personnel while the patient/victim is in transit to the ER.
You can download to your cell phone for free a compatibility ESP test profile by visiting http://www.myrapidmd.com and clicking on the Test your Phone icon. The compatibility ESP will expire after 24 hours.
Once ESP has been installed on a cell phone no carrier or Internet connection is required to review the information. ESP information is updatable 24/7 but cannot be edited on the phone or Web site without a user name and password. Certain ESP fields are locked from being changed once an ES Profile has been created and sent to a phone.
Individual plans start at $17.99 for a six-month subscription, and family plans (four phones minimum) start at $71.99 for a six-month subscription.
For more information visit http://www.myrapidmd.com.
3D Rendering Application
Bunkspeed announced the release of HyperShot, a 3D rendering application.
According to the company, the software cuts studio setup costs for print and Web ads by producing lifelike 3D prototypes in minutes. With practically no learning curve to speak of, experts or novices can load a 3D model into HyperShot, add materials, and then apply realistic lighting via high dynamic range images. And the image is finished. This "interactive photograph" can be manipulated in any direction, while HyperShot's interactive 3D ray tracing automatically updates the lighting in real time.
HyperShot also works directly with designs created in SolidWorks, and interfaces with 3D design applications through common neutral file formats.
Users who need just basic Web image resolution get the same amount of functionality as users who require maximum resolution for large print files. This eliminates the need to relearn HyperShot when upgrading and allows files to pass between different versions.
To complement the HyperShot offerings, Bunkspeed also offers its own set of high-dynamic range images for sale, with matching back plates. All HDRIs have been optimized for use inside HyperShot.
HyperShot is available for Windows XP and Vista, supporting both 32-and 64-bit editions of the operating system. The cost is $195.
For more information on HyperShot and to download a trial version at no charge, visit http://www.bunkspeed.com/hypershot.
MathPlayer's Learning Aid for Students
Design Science announced the release of MathPlayer 2.1, adding support for Microsoft's Internet Explorer 7 and new features to help students with vision and learning disabilities.
MathPlayer's math-to-speech technology has been enhanced to synchronously highlight the mathematics as it is spoken. Synchronized highlighting can be a learning aid for all students and has been shown to be particularly effective for people with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. MathPlayer 2.1 also supports DotsPlus, a braille math format for use with Tiger braille printers, and seamlessly integrates with screen reader software such as JAWS, Window-Eyes, HAL, Read & Write, and BrowseALoud.
MathPlayer can be downloaded free from the MathPlayer area of the Design Science Web site ( http://www.mathplayer.com). For more information visit http://www.dessci.com.
Free Texturing Software
Allegorithmic announced MaPZone 2.6, the newest version of its professional texturing software. MaPZone gives artists control when creating textures for animation, game, visual effects, online media, design, and architectural visualization projects. MaPZone 2.6 is free. To download the current version, visit http://www.mapzoneeditor.com.
MaPZone is an authoring tool designed specifically for editing and managing textures. Based on Allegoritmic's FXMaps technology, MaPZone is reportedly the only tool that allows users to locally edit procedural textures to create diffuse, specular and normal maps that are resolution independent, match up perfectly and seamlessly tile automatically.
For more information visit http://www.allegorithmic.com.