Issue No.02 - April-June (2008 vol.15)
Published by the IEEE Computer Society
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MMUL.2008.37
This article features some of the latest advances in multimedia technology.
Portable Medical Imaging
Direct Medical Systems has teamed with FlipStart Labs to create the InNovaSound System, which combines a USB-compatible scanning probe with the compact FlipStart PC to provide a portable ultrasound device. The device is suited for use by health care professionals, such as emergency first responders and general-practice physicians. The system's portability can help users obtain more information before ordering other diagnostic tests, perhaps reducing the number of unnecessary tests.
For more information and pricing visit http://www.dmsww.com/.
Create 3D Animated Movies
Reallusion has released iClone 3DXchange 2.0, the latest version of the company's import and conversion utility. Users can create a library of 3D models for use inside iClone as accessories, props, and 3D scenes. The added Google SketchUp and Google 3D Warehouse interoperability lets users import and convert Google SketchUp 3D models as well as 3DS and OBJ models to create full-motion 3D movies with the iClone Studio real-time filmmaking engine.
In addition to being able to quickly create 3D models for iClone using the free version of Google SketchUp, users can connect directly to the Google 3D Warehouse from within the iClone 3DXchange 2.0 user interface. With access to Google 3D Warehouse, users can search for and download free 3D models. 3DXchange users can explore Google Earth and scout locations for filmmaking inside iClone, and can view the 3D models on Google Earth and download them to their PC.
Like the earlier version of 3DXchange, the new version will import and convert content from external 3D modeling applications and model banks such as DAZ 3D, TurboSquid, Renderosity, Amazing 3D, and others. It also can import the user's custom designs from 3D modeling applications—such as ZBrush, Max, Maya, and so on—to iClone.
Half-Terabyte Hard Drive for PCs
Samsung Electronics is shipping the Spinpoint M6, a 500-Gbyte mobile hard drive. The drive aims to meet the storage needs of those using notebook computers as well as slim PCs and high-density mobile devices.
The Spinpoint M6 contains three 167-Gbyte platters in a 2.5-inch hard drive frame measuring 9.5-mm in height. For notebook PCs, the Spinpoint M6 meets the Microsoft fast-boot design requirements and supports ramp load and unload of up to 600,000 times. The drive features a 5,400-rpm spindle speed, an 8-Mbyte cache, and a 3.0 Gbps SATA interface with a free-fall sensor available as an optional feature. Perpendicular magnetic recording technology enables the 500-Gbyte drive to store 160,000 digital images, 125 hours of DVD movies, or 60 hours of high-definition video images. The drive also features Samsung's flying-on-demand head technology that is designed to improve recording stability over changing temperature ranges.
The Spinpoint M6 costs $299. Visit http://www. samsung.com for more information.
Video Conferencing over the Internet
The iLinc Communications Web-conferencing software and audio-conferencing services let users host online video conferences and data-collaboration meetings. The company's hosted and installed conferencing suite comes standard with Web conferencing and collaboration tools, including multipoint video. In iLinc Web meetings, everyone can see multiple participant videos at the same time. Attendees can display or hide their videos and select which attendees' videos they wish to view. Reportedly, companies that already have dedicated systems can integrate iLinc, extending their capabilities from meeting rooms to the desktop.
For more information visit http://www.ilinc.com.
Compositing and Effects Plug-In
Noise Industries announced the availability of FxFactory 2.0. FxFactory is a 2D and 3D compositing and effects plug-in environment with more than 200 GPU-accelerated filters developed for the Apple FxPlug architecture. FxFactory filters extend and enhance the production capabilities of Apple Final Cut Studio 2 (Final Cut Pro 6 and Motion 3) and Final Cut Express 4.0 solutions.
FxFactory 2.0 reportedly optimizes core processes and workflows, supports the latest OS (Leopard), enables field-based rendering, and offers improved contextual controls. Features include 52 new FxFactory plug-ins for a total of 122 filters, generators, and transitions; random cropping; light streak animation; distortion and color adjustments simulation caused when light passes through a hot gas; generation of a stylized version of the original image; and plug-in management.
FxFactory Pro 2.0 costs $399.00. FxFactory Pro 1.0 customers can upgrade for $129. For more information visit http://www.noiseindustries.com.
Home Entertainment Software
Conceiva's Mezzmo home entertainment software package lets consumers stream music, movies, and photos to their TV, home theater, game console, and digital media appliances.
Mezzmo finds and organizes the music, video and photo files on a PC so they are ready to share. Mezzmo is compatible with such digital-media devices as the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and network-ready TV devices from Sony, D-Link, Buffalo, Toshiba, Panasonic, Netgear, and so on. Reportedly, Mezzmo supports all forms of home networks, including wireless home networks or LAN cable home networks.
The software imports music and playlists from popular media players, such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Winamp. The tool rips audio CDs as MP3 files. Five types of playlists are included for consumers to organize and share their media files. Mezzmo supports the Digital Living Network Alliance and Universal Plug and Play standards. It contains a media server that streams music, movies, and photos to devices and computers in your home.
Mezzmo, which runs on Windows Vista or Windows XP, costs $69.95 from http://www.conceiva.com/buy.