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Tools and Products

Pages: pp. 86-88


Active Stereoscopic Projection

Fakespace Systems announced the release of the WorkZ visualization system. The product is a real-time computing and active stereoscopic projection system bundle. It provides all the computing and hardware components for a large-screen immersive display system, with image quality comparable to a three-chip DLP projector.

Graphic: Fakespace's WorkZ visualization system.

Figure    Fakespace's WorkZ visualization system.

The system comes with a projector with 1,400 × 1,050 resolution and 1,500 lumens per eye brightness; a 3-GHz Pentium 4 workstation with 1-Gbyte RAM and a dual digital video output graphics card; a wall-mounted or freestanding rear projection screen with high gain to preserve brightness; and two active stereoscopic glasses and synchronization signal emitters.

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Holographic Storage

InPhase's Tapestry drive is the first prototype of a commercial holographic storage device. The product uses polytopic recording to provide greater data density by overlaying books of data, rather than pages of data. The prototype is the foundation for a 300-Gbyte storage drive that can store more than 35 hours of broadcast-quality high-definition video on a single disk. The product uses a new class of photopolymers, and the delivery of a stable recording device, to achieve a working commercial holographic system.

Graphic: InPhase's Tapestry drive stores material holographically.

Figure    InPhase's Tapestry drive stores material holographically.

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Notebook Instantly Records and Views TV

Intervideo announced that its InstantOn technology is now included in Sony Type A series VAIO notebooks. By integrating these two products, the notebook computers can access TV, DVD, and CD-Audio playback. The product includes a remote control that lets users select their media entertainment programs from their couch.

The VAIO notebooks come equipped with built-in TV tuner cards that let users directly record their favorite programs to a DVD disc while in instant mode. Playback is enhanced with navigation technology that lets users skip DVD chapters, fast forward or backward, and pause.

The product comes with a 15.4-inch screen that displays 1,280 × 800 resolution, contains 512 Mbytes memory storage, and wirelessly connects to the Internet.

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Large Color-Critical Monitor

The Color Edge CG210 is a liquid crystal display monitor by Eizo Nanao Technologies. The monitor is made to accurately show color. The 21.3-inch monitor offers full hardware and software for use, including monitor-size support for portrait mode on both Macintosh and Windows platforms using the active rotation feature.

Graphic: Eizo Nanao Technologies' Color Edge CG210 monitor

Figure    Eizo Nanao Technologies' Color Edge CG210 monitor

The monitor also comes with a 170-degree viewing angle (40 degrees tilt, 70 swivel, 90 pivot, and a height-adjustable stand with a movement range of 82 mm), brightness of 250 cd/m 2, contrast ratio of 550:1, and pixel pitch of 0.270 mm. The native resolution is 1,600 × 1,200, which means that two letter-sized documents can be displayed side by side. Dual digital video inputs provide compatibility with digital and analog graphics boards, and one upstream and two downstream ports are included for use with USB devices.

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Mobile Content on Demand

Neven Vision's i-Scout visual mobile search software employs object recognition on cell phones. If a user points a camera-enabled handset or cell phone, the object of interest is photographed, and the image is sent to Neven Vision's recognition servers. The object is recognized using Mobile-I technology and relevant content is pushed to the phone. To offer this on-demand service, an application developer provides a database of standard digital images and associated mobile content to Neven Vision's Mobile-i recognition server. Images submitted by the cell phone user are matched to images in the database, and the user is provided with the associated content.

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Automated Animation Toolbar

Bauhaus' Animator's Toolbar is a new suite of 2D animation automation tools for Mirage Studio 1.5. Working with Mirage—a 2D animation, paint, and effects system—this toolbar broadens the capabilities of traditional 2D animators and accelerates workflow. More than 30 new special effects functions are featured on the toolbar, including toon shadow, paper cut, clean up, and magic fill.

The Bauhaus Animator's Toolbar costs $99. For more information visit

Screencasts to a Blog

TechSmith's Camtasia Studio 3.0 lets users record what they see on a computer or in an application, edit and narrate it, and share it on their blogs. The software features a new add-in for recording, editing, and sharing Microsoft PowerPoint presentations in various multimedia formats, including CD-ROM, streaming video, and Flash. The software can also be used to create Web tutorials, record in-class lectures, and create distance-learning modules.

Graphic: Screen shot of TechSmith's Camtasia Studio 3.

Figure    Screen shot of TechSmith's Camtasia Studio 3.

The software comes with 30 days of free third-party Web hosting of videos, automated publishing (using a new production wizard), and a quizzing function so that organizations can assess learning with multiple-choice quizzes.

For more information visit

Interactive 3D Assembly

Deep Creator by Right Hemisphere is an authoring application that lets users create interactive 3D environments, assemblies, and objects. The software provides an integrated authoring environment that includes a 3D modeler, texture creator, and scripting engine. The product's toolset and game engine aid in creating walkthroughs for training, simulation, support, and sales and marketing applications.

The software differs from several other products in that it can interact with a model, offering real-time 3D viewing from any position and distance. It can locate and identify components and assemblies from all angles; change materials, parts, and configurations on the fly; provide instant feedback for both correct and incorrect responses; and identify and manipulate parts through visual clues as well as predefined viewpoints.

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We think the following tools will be of interest to our readership:

  • Intel Open Source Computer Vision Library ( This software offers a wide range of computer vision algorithms with support for Windows and Linux platforms, available with documentation and examples.
  • Processing ( This is a great tool for introducing (graphics) programming concepts to nonprogrammers and prototyping new media graphics or art pieces.
  • ARToolkit ( The ARToolKit is a collection of libraries, utilities applications, and documentation with sample code. The libraries provide the user with a means to capture images from video sources, process those images to optically track markers in the images, and to allow compositing of computer-generated content with the real-world images and display the result using OpenGL.
  • Irrlicht ( The Irrlicht engine is an open-source, high-performance, and real-time 3D engine written and usable in C++. It's also available for .NET languages. It's completely cross platform, using display three dimensional (D3D), OpenGL, and its own software renderer. It has all of the state-of-the-art features found in commercial 3D engines.

New Standard

The upcoming standard, OpenGL ES ( is a royalty-free, cross-platform API for full-function 2D and 3D graphics on embedded systems—including handheld devices, appliances, and vehicles. It is a well-defined subset of desktop OpenGL, creating a flexible and powerful low-level interface between software and graphics acceleration. OpenGL ES includes Common and Common-Lite profiles for floating-point and fixed-point systems and the specification for portably binding to native windowing systems. OpenGL ES 1.1 emphasizes hardware acceleration of the API, while OpenGL ES 1.0 focuses on enabling software-only implementations. OpenGL ES 1.1 is fully backward compatible with 1.0, enabling simple porting of applications between the two versions.

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