Issue No. 02 - March/April (2006 vol. 26)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MCG.2006.48
Floating Spherical Screen
Christie announced the release of their curved Matrix display system. The system contains 10 Matrix 3000 simulation projectors and the company's ChristieTwist image warping and enhanced edge-blending software. The product reportedly gives the feel of a floating spherical screen.
The product can be configured for different simulations, depending on specific application requirements. It includes a custom projector support structure, engineered to allow for movement.
For more information visit http://www.christiedigital. com.
Public Computing on the PC
DiscoverStation 4.0 is Userful's product that allows up to 10 people to work off 10 terminals while sharing a single high-performance PC. The desktop environment is reportedly robust and designed specifically to meet the needs of those mandated to provide public computing, such as libraries. It also cuts costs by reducing the power, air conditioning, and computer disposal requirements.
The product accesses some of Userful's remote support tools to help keep the computers secure and maintenance free. Administrators can set up the computers to block unwanted content access, downloads, and system changes. It also enables libraries and others to provide Internet filtering to their patrons.
A key improvement to the latest version of DiscoverStation is a suite of internationalization tools. These tools enable the product to function using a variety of languages from a single Web portal.
For more information visit http://userful.com.
TV One's 19-inch LM-1911R and 15-inch LM-1511R liquid crystal displays are reportedly flicker-free with sharp off-axis viewing angles. The monitors are for graphics professionals and come with high brightness and contrast ratios.
The products have a built-in power supply that offers low power consumption and low radiation. Multiple television standards are supported and automatically detected on the monitors.
The hardware has built-in freestanding desktop support and a rackmount design that tilts up or down to optimize the viewing angle. Both units also include a swivel stand to allow tabletop use.
The units come with dual composite video, S-video, and stereo audio inputs and outputs. A PC input is also provided that can accommodate resolutions up to SXGA.
For more information visit http://www.tvone.co.uk.
InPhase Technologies announced the release of Tapestry HDS4000, the first Holographic-ROM (H-ROM) media targeted for use in consumer devices. Data is recorded into the product with the same wavelength as red lasers used in CDs and DVDs. This is the latest addition to the InPhase media product family that includes green laser HDS3000 media, and blue laser HDS5000 media.
Tapestry HDS4000 can be used for distribution of audio or video content. The media can be made in several different form factors, from postage-stamp to credit-card size, which could hold several high-definition movies.
InPhase has also developed H-ROM mastering and replication technology, for license to companies developing holographic equipment. This enables the distribution of high-definition content using H-ROM media.
For more information visit http://www.inphase-tech.com.
State-of-the-Art Video Performance
The Olevia 42- and 47-inch liquid crystal display, high-definition televisions by Syntax-Brillian reportedly offer sophisticated video and audio performance. The TVs use a Silicon Optix Realta video processor, with Teranex's HWV for delivering clear images. The products also use D2Audio's intelligent digital amplifier for immersive sound.
Additionally, the hardware uses Syntax-Brillian's new Big Picture technology, which delivers up to 11 percent more of the digital broadcast image and up to 37 percent more of analog images without distortion so viewers can see more of the pictured displayed on each side of the TV. It also uses the company's Director's Image technology, which lets viewers see the content the way the director intended images to be displayed.
Specifications of the hardware includes 1,080-pixel resolution, liquid crystal display panels with a 16:9 aspect ratio, a 1,600:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and wide 178-degree viewing angles. The displays come with a headphone jack, digital audio, and a subwoofer. They also feature picture-in-picture and split-screen modes so that viewers can watch multiple content sources simultaneously. Using the universal serial bus port, consumers can keep their TV up to date by obtaining firmware update downloads from Syntax-Brillian's Web site.
The displays use an all-glass front with anti-reflective coatings. The two 25-watt stereo speakers can be mounted horizontally on the bottom of the TV, vertically on each side via a conversion kit, or removed for connecting to an external audio system.
For more information visit http://www.syntaxbrillian. com.
Enhances Virtualized Server Capabilities
Emulex announced the release of its HBA firmware and drivers, now available with LightPulse Virtual host bus adapter (HBA) technology that's designed to enhance the capabilities within virtualized server environments. The product uses the N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) standard, which helps improve network management, data protection, and application recovery by enabling virtual servers to use dedicated storage area network (SAN) resources.
This new firmware and drivers enable server virtualization solutions to enhance SAN security and data protection by enforcing SAN resource access rights on a per-virtual-machine basis. Part of what the product does is let the server fully use key SAN management techniques, including zoning and logical unit mapping and masking to ensure maximum data security. Further, the product enables applications to be migrated across server platforms while maintaining access to SAN-based data, enabling application portability and disaster recovery.
For more information visit http://www.emulex.com.
The VIZIO P42HDTV is a 42-inch high definition plasma design. It's 4 inches deep, has gloss-black styling, and silver built-in speakers. The 1024 × 768 native resolution, widescreen plasma uses latest-generation glass with single-scan technology for a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, high brightness, and 30-bit 231 billion colors. The video processor produces reduced solarization and false contouring along with sharpness improvement, nonlinear chroma enhancement, closed-color suppression, nonlinear scaling, adaptive contrast, and color controls. The P42HDTV is fully featured with dual tuners, universal remote control, 3D-comb filter, motion-adaptive deinterlacer, and multiples types of PC inputs and video settings.
The Vizio P42HDTV costs $1,799.99 and comes with a one-year onsite service warranty. For more information visit http://www.vizioce.com.
Use Voice Notes and Virtual Scratch Pad
PhatWare announced the release of PhatPad 3.0, a software that provides creative options for taking notes and accessing them anywhere. The software lets users draw pictures, write text, and create animation on a virtual scratch pad.
The upgrade of this product now lets users add voice notes, so that the consumer can record and replay a spoken note and add it to a PhatPad document. The software also contains two pop-up toolbars that the user can edit to include in their most-used tools.
For more information visit http://www. phatware.com.
Animates with Ambient Occlusion
Carrara 5 is Eovia's latest version of its animation, modeling, and rendering software. The latest version includes more than 20 improvements.
One of the enhanced features is an ambient occlusion option, so that users can simulate global illumination. By controlling the amount of ambient light that objects receive depending on their local configurations, this new feature creates a soft lighting solution without added rendering time.
The product also offers a translucency option, allowing objects to let the light pass through diffusively. This feature lets users give a more realistic look to trees, leaves, grass, flower petals, and more.
For more information visit http://www.eovia.com.
Publish 3D Graphics as Adobe PDFs
Right Hemisphere's Adobe Design Collaboration software blends Right Hemisphere and Adobe products, so that designers can create computer-aided designs and implement them using the Adobe Intelligent Document Platform. This approach reportedly makes it easier to collaborate across extended enterprises using intelligent PDF documents that are secure and control intellectual property.
The Adobe policy server has digital rights management capabilities and controls who sees what. The forms server lets the user structure documents so that at each step of the process, designers can review, mark up, and approve documents using Adobe Reader and Acrobat.
The product lets users choose whether they want to use automatic PDF templates or have manual functions. It also lets users change native CAD files into lighter files using an industry standard universal 3D format (U3D).
For more information visit http://www.righthemisphere.com.
Graphics for Embedded Devices
Access and Koto released a multimedia platform for embedded devices. The platform combines Zevio—an application processor architecture with a 3D graphics core with Access' μMore, a real-time embedded operating system. The platform also includes Hi's 3D engine MascotCapsule.
The product lets manufacturers of education and training devices, embedded game devices, and audiovisual equipment reduce development time and costs while providing additional networking functionality. The processor architecture is designed to work well with sound, 2D and 3D graphics, and other multimedia capabilities.
For more information visit http://access.co.jp or http://www.koto.co.jp.
Renders for Films and Games
PipelineFX released Qube! 4.0, an upgrade to the company's render farm management software for film production and game development. Upgrades to the software include enhanced support for applications, including Maya, Softimage, 3ds max, Nuke, Mental Ray, and compatability with Apple's Tiger operating system.
Other features include an enhanced graphical user interface; a proxy user mode called Windows Workers, which simplifies job execution; automatic email reports when jobs are finished; and host order job execution, which allows a supervisor to favor hosts with certain useful characteristics, such as central processing unit speed.
For more information visit http://www.pipelinefx.com.
Interactive Graphics for Mathematica
MathGL3d 4.0 is Wolfram Research's interactive, OpenGL-based 3D graphics add-on for scientific and technical visualization. The software allows real-time interaction with Mathematica graphics.
The product offers several interactive features, such as rotation, animation, visual viewpoint editing, and lightsource editing. MathGL3d exports to common 3D file formats, such as POV-Ray, VRML 2.0, QuickDraw 3D, DXF, and smooth-shaded PostScript.
With the latest upgrade, users can also read and import DXF and Geomview OFF files. The software now provides an interface
between Mathematica and Alias or POV-Ray with optimized export. Other new features in the latest version include hardware-accelerated volume rendering for all supported platforms, line illumination, and bump mapping.
For more information visit http://www.wolfram.com.