3D-News Archive April 2004


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ScentAir Technologies Integrates Scent Systems with X3D Technologies Offering a New 3D “Scentsory” Advertising Medium for In-Store Digital Signage Networks
3D-News Posted: Friday, April 30, 2004 (15:37 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Follow your nose to ScentAir Technologies booth #3871 at the FMI (Food Marketing Institute) May 2 - 4 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. ScentAir will display new-patented scent systems emitting fabulous food scents as a new medium for brand marketers and retailers to promote category and brands.

ScentAir together with X3D Technologies, a glasses-free 3D digital signage company, will show for the first time, a three-dimensional flat panel screen integrated with scent. The system will emit the scent of certain brands as consumers watch commercials in a three-dimensional format for products having scent such Dash fabric softener, Meijer Chocolate, Pepsi, and Herbal Essence Shampoo.

This patented scent technology emits scent in a clean, controllable way across a 200 square foot area in front of the 3D advertising display. "This is a significant inflection for the advertising industry," says Myles Owens, X3D chief executive officer. "Integrating out-of-the-screen 3D visuals with the 4th dimension of scent is an extraordinary achievement. Advertisers are simply enthralled by the impact our combined products deliver!"

"This allows brand marketers to advertise and sample the scent of their product in-store without opening the package," says Forrest Fleming, ScentAir chief executive officer. "Scent samples new products without tasting, increases brand and category sales, and enhances the retail environment," adds Fleming.

University of New Hampshire space scientists reach out to the public
3D-News Posted: Friday, April 30, 2004 (15:34 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


When scientists at the University of New Hampshire work with the National Aeronautic and Space Administration on a mission, public outreach and education is an integral part of the deal.

Take, for example, one project currently underway at the Space Science Center in the university's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. Scientists, engineers and technicians are in the flight assembly stage of building two identical instruments for the Solar TErrestrial REations Observatory, or STEREO. The instruments were designed and are being fabricated at the SSC.

The instruments, called PLASTIC for the Plasma and Suprathermal Ion Composition Investigation, will be delivered to NASA later this year, said Antoinette Galvin, lead scientist for the UNH effort. The $11 million contract includes $150,000 in education and public outreach funds, which, among other things, UNH-STEREO is using to help sponsor the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium's "Spacetacular Saturday" to be held in Concord on May 1 from 1-9 p.m.

"NASA recognizes that in order to achieve the technical successes they're noted for they have to have a well-educated public and a pipeline of future engineers and scientists for the next generation of missions," Galvin said.

Over the past eight years, NASA has implemented what it characterizes as being perhaps "the largest single program in astronomy and space science education ever undertaken." In 2002, NASA invested more than $35 million in its education and public outreach program.

"It's a way for NASA to go through its principle investigators and reach beyond the university. It's good for us and it's good for the community," Galvin said.

UNH-STEREO is also putting outreach money towards Project SMART (Science and Mathematics Achievement through Research Training, a New Hampshire Space Grant Consortium program for high school students), development of software for a radio telescope located at EOS (data from which will eventually be accessible in real-time to classrooms around the state), and other McAuliffe planetarium programs. Other UNH-NASA missions contribute outreach money in similar fashion.

STEREO is the third mission in NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program, scheduled to launch in February 2006 aboard a single Delta II rocket. This two-year mission will employ two nearly identical space-based observatories to provide the first-ever 3-D stereoscopic images to study the nature of the Sun’s coronal mass ejections or CMEs.

The PLASTIC experiment will provide plasma characteristics of protons, alpha particles and heavy ions. PLASTIC is the primary sensor on STEREO for studying the processes between the corona and solar wind, and between solar wind and the heliosphere. The heliosphere is the region of space through which the solar wind extends.

Shab Levy at the 3D Center of Art and Photography
3D-News Posted: Monday, April 19, 2004 (15:07 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


The 3D Center of Art and Photography features contemporary artist Shab Levy. Levy, a Portland exhibits designer, uses his Science and Industrial Design background in creating computer generated stereoscopic images. "I find that creating an image from something that does not exist in reality is a refreshing and fascinating endeavor," Levy says. The large paired images are viewed in 3D with specially designed viewers.

There will be an artist reception on First Thursday, May 6 from 4 pm until 9 pm. Opens: April 30, Ends: May 23

The 3D Center also houses a collection of antique and contemporary stereo cameras, viewers and other devices. Information panels and interactive displays explain the phenomenon of 3D vision. The Center's collection of stereocards are available for viewing and the reference library is open to visitors. There are daily 3D slide projections.

Open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays from 1 pm until 5 pm. Open First Thursday from 4pm until 9 pm. Admission by donation. 1928 NW Lovejoy, Portland/Oregon, USA. Tel.: 1 (503) 227-6667, Web: www.3dcenter.us.

Kopin to Showcase New CyberDisplay Applications at Defense and Security Symposium
3D-News Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2004 (13:57 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


3-D Viewing System, Night-Vision Goggle HUD and Binocular IR-Camera Viewer are Among Latest Applications Featuring Company's Microdisplay Technology

Kopin Corporation, the largest U.S. manufacturer of microdisplays for military weapons, thermal imaging systems and consumer electronics, will feature several new CyberDisplay(TM)-equipped applications this week at the International Society for Optical Engineering's (SPIE) Defense & Security Symposium. The symposium will take place April 13-15 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida (USA).

Kopin (booth #128) will showcase its ruggedized CyberDisplay products in a high-resolution 3-D visualization system, a helmet-mounted display, an infrared viewer and a night-vision goggle head-up display (HUD) system.

"We already have established our CyberDisplay as the microdisplay of choice for military, industrial and consumer products, and the applications being demonstrated at SPIE extend that brand equity and technology excellence even further," said Dr. John C.C. Fan, Kopin's president and chief executive officer. "To date, Kopin has shipped more than 10 million CyberDisplays worldwide, and the SPIE show is an excellent opportunity for Kopin to showcase its new products to existing or potential partners and customers."

New CyberDisplay applications include:

  • 3-D Visualization System. Developed by Interactive Imaging Systems for training and simulation as well as other mixed-reality applications, this 3-D binocular system offers the clarity and quality of a 28-inch full-color VGA (640x512) monitor in a viewing device small enough to fit in the palm of the user's hand. At the heart of this system are two Kopin CyberDisplay 1280 AMLCDs, specially configured with R,G,B color filters that receive input from a stereoscopic image generator and two 3-D cameras. The viewer sees superimposed images on tangible objects, creating a "mixed reality" experience.


  • Auxiliary Targeting Viewer (ATV). Kopin's ATV is the first in a series of revolutionary helmet-mounted devices evolving from Kopin's participation in the Thermal Omni-Bus I production program. The ATV is a lightweight, high-resolution monocular sight designed for remote reconnaissance, target acquisition and weapons firing. The system mounts to the soldier's helmet using a standard night-vision goggle mount and displays data from the output of a rifle-mounted Thermal Weapon Sight (TWS). The unit provides the soldier with "over the wall" viewing of battlefield conditions and the ability to acquire targets and fire the weapon from a protected position. The unit is powered by a helmet-mounted battery pack and operates on an RS-170 composite video supplied by the TWS. The ATV incorporates the same ruggedized, VGA-quality (640x480) monochrome CyberDisplay 640M that Kopin provides in the production TWS systems. The complete ATV is compact and robust enough to be carried in a field jacket pocket.


  • Night-Vision Goggle Head-Up Display (NVG-HUD). Developed by Kopin for the Objective HUD and Eyepiece HUD applications, this high-performance VGA microdisplay imaging system has performance characteristics unmatched in the industry. Based on Kopin's patented Multi-domain Vertical Alignment (MVA) AMLCD technology, this device provides ultra-high contrast (greater than 1,000:1) with viewing angle characteristics similar to "text on a piece of paper." Packaged in a miniature 1.4x1.4x0.52 inch footprint, the NVG-HUD system accepts digital avionics data transmitted over a fire-wire interface and displays critical flight symbology that can be overlaid on an aviator's night-vision goggles. Kopin's NVG-HUD dissipates less than 260mw when operating in a full 60hz mode.


  • Binocular IR Viewer. Developed by Kopin for the hand-held radiometer market, this unit provides a binocular, full-color VGA image in a compact, lightweight package. Designed as a "back-end" viewing system for hand-held thermal cameras, this system provides a 32-degree, 100 percent overlapped binocular field-of-view with integrated adjustments for focus (diopter) and inter-pupilary distance. At the heart of this system are two CyberDisplay 922K AMLCDs operating from a single low-power interface driver. The Binocular IR Viewer operates from a single DC input voltage and a single composite video input, making it ideal for thermal camera applications requiring full-color imagery.
In addition to these applications, Kopin will feature a number of higher-level assemblies and microdisplays, including the recently introduced CyberDisplay 922K, a full-color, VGA-quality display designed for high-performance portable applications such as entertainment systems, digital still cameras, thermal viewers for firefighters, medical systems and hand-held radiometers. With R,G,B sub-pixels measuring just 4.7 microns by 14.1 microns and an active area of just 0.44 inches diagonal, Kopin's CyberDisplay 922K is the highest density transmissive microdisplay in the world. When combined with a high-performance backlight and the driver ASIC, the CyberDisplay 922K provides monocular or binocular full-color imagery in a mere 1 x 2 inch package.

Kopin representatives will be available at the symposium to discuss future product development strategies including the development of a new color filter SVGA (800x600) microdisplay, the CyberDisplay SVGA, which has been funded in part by the U.S. Army to support an array of potential product applications, ranging from high-end military systems to entertainment, medical and consumer products.

StereoGraphics Enables Glasses-Free 3D Modeling
3D-News Posted: Monday, April 5, 2004 (14:54 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


Immersive 3D CAD for Designers, Architects, Gamers, & Movies
StereoGraphics announced that Digital ArtForms, a specialist in 3D interaction & immersion, has used the SynthaGram Software Developer's Kit (SDK) to add support for StereoGraphics' SynthaGram(TM) Glasses-Free 3D(TM)
monitors to its InDex immersive CAD package.
InDex represents a whole new approach to 3D modeling. With the addition of glasses-free 3D, immersive CAD has achieved a new level of productivity for industrial designers, architects, game developers, and movie developers.

InDex is driven by a pair of hand-held controllers called SpaceGrips, rather than a mouse and keyboard. The user reaches directly into the scene using the position tracked controllers to cut and stretch objects and space. It uniquely combines authoring and visualization environments into a single 3D workspace.

"Glasses-free 3D is the Holy Grail for immersive applications like ours," said Paul Mlyniec, President of Digital ArtForms. "It's the necessary next step in bringing 3D to the mass market. Many users have been unwilling to wear the glasses, even though they understand the benefits of stereo. The SynthaGram glasses-free 3D monitor solves the problem and offers beautiful, deep, clear and wide 3D images."

Spirit Rover Lands on Mars
3D-News Posted: Sunday, April 4, 2004 (14:05 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


NASA's Deep Space Network has received a signal confirming that Mars Exploration Rover Spirit is rolling to a stop on the surface of Mars. (9:00 pm PST).

The rover is equipped with three stereoscopic cameras and expected to send back photos soon.

The Panoramic Camera will view the surface using two high-resolution color stereo cameras to complement the rover's navigation cameras. Delivering panoramas of the martian surface with unprecedented detail, the instrument's narrow-angle optics provide angular resolution more than three times higher than that of the Mars Pathfinder cameras. The camera's images will help scientists decide what rocks and soils to analyze in detail, and will provide information on surface features, the distribution and shape of nearby rocks, and the presence of features carved by ancient waterway s. The camera's two eyes sit 30 centimeters (12 inches) apart, about 1.5 meters (5 feet) above ground level on the rover's mast. The instrument carries 14 different types of filters, allowing not only full-color images but also spectral analysis of minerals and the atmosphere. Each exposure of each eye produces a digital image 1,028 pixels wide by 1,028 pixels wide. Full-circle panoramas will be mosaics about 24 frames wide and four frames high, for a combined image full of fine detail even if enlarged to the size of a giant movie screen.

Hazard-Identification Cameras ride low on the front and rear of the rover. The cameras are in stereo pairs at each location in order to produce threedimensional information about the terrain before or behind the rover. Each hazard-identification camera provides a fisheye wide-angle view about 120 degrees across. They are sensitive to visible light and yield black-and-white pictures. Onboard navigation software can analyze the images from these cameras to identify obstacles and avoid them. The front pair of hazard identification cameras provides position information to help movement of the rover's arm and placement of arm-mounted tools on target rocks.

The Navigation Camera is another stereo pair of black-and-white cameras. Like the panoramic camera, it sits on top of the mast and can rotate and tilt. Unlike the panoramic camera, it shoots wider-angle images (about 45 degrees across, compared with about 16 degrees across for the panoramic camera) and it does not have changeable filters to produce color images. Because of its wider field of view, the navigation camera's images can g! ive a quick full-circle view of the surroundings at each new location that the rover reaches, requiring less data-transmission time than would a full-circle set of panoramic camera images. Engineers and scientists will use those images in planning where to send the rover and where to use the science instruments for more detailed examinations.

3D-Pictures from the latest "Spirit" and "Opportunity" Missions, as well as from the first Mars-Mission (Pathfinder, 1997) are available at http://www.stereoscopy.com/mars

The world's first mobile 3D Cinema gives RSPB wings
3D-News Posted: Thursday, April 1, 2004 (20:38 UTC) | Posted By: Webmaster


VR industry leaders Inition have created the world's first mobile, 3D cinematic campaign for the RSPB (The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds). This groundbreaking project will tour the country for the next three years, allowing viewers to experience life through the senses of a bird of prey, surfing air currents and slicing through thermals with added stereoscopic thrust.

Decades on from bad 3D red and blue Jaws effects and jolty simulators, Inition's (www.inition.co.uk) cutting-edge CGI lets you weave through trees, pounce and hunt while surround sound immerses the audience in the squeal and screech of the kill. Up to eight viewers at a time can watch the 3D experience in a bespoke mobile trailer designed and manufactured by Masters Exhibition and Shows. The cinema features Inition's Duality projection system and 3DVidBox stereoscopic playback system.

The project was conceived and managed by RSPB Cymru, with European funding, to portray "an environmental message in a revolutionary new medium." The filmic response is a high-res, 3D graphic movie that outstrips "ride" videos and rivals IMAX in terms of clarity - making education an ear-splitting, eye-popping experience.

The mobile, 3D cinema is the first time such a high profile charity has enlisted cutting-edge, VR technology for a campaign and, many believe, marks a landmark in advertising and emotive campaigning.

Graphics for the project were created by Inition using 3dsMax and scored to an original post-electro-clash pop song. Inition's Duality system comprises of two XGA LCD projectors, three-meter wide screen with surround sound. High Definition (HD) playback uses the 3Dvidbox for full colour, passive polarising, stereo for maximum impact. The mobile 3D unit was designed and manufactured by Masters Exhibitions and Shows.

The mobile 3D cinema launches, in Wales, on April 7 and will tour the country for three years as part of RSPB Cymru's campaign. Entrance will be free. For details of docking locations log on to www.mobile3dcinema.com.

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Editor-in-Chief: Alexander Klein.

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