HP VISUALIZE workstations enhanced with Fakespace's immersive visualisation tools

Chicago 13 March 2000Fakespace Systems Inc. has established a strategic relationship with Hewlett-Packard Company to expand the availability of its immersive visualisation solutions to organisations involved in product development and manufacturing. Fakespace has been named a Value Added Reseller (VAR) for HP VISUALIZE workstations. Additionally, the two companies are also discussing future joint marketing programmes and collaboration for the development of software drivers to integrate Fakespace Systems' immersive displays with HP visual computing systems.

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To show the potential of virtual prototyping and manufacturing simulation applications, HP has demonstrated a Fakespace ImmersaDesk virtual model display, driven by an HP VISUALIZE workstation, at its booth during the U.S. National Design Engineering Show (NDES) in Chicago. This was the first public demonstration of an HP visualisation application, which was integrated with a drafting-table-style projected image display.

"HP is committed to immersive visualisation as a powerful tool for the innovation in design and manufacturing", stated David Larson, who is solution specialist for HP's Technical Computing Division. He added that the integration of large-scale and stereoscopic displays from Fakespace Systems with HP VISUALIZE workstations means that organisations which rely on the HP platform will be able to implement a very broad range of display systems for an immersive viewing and hands-on interaction with computer-generated models and simulations.

"Many manufacturing organisations are re-engineering their work flow to centre on the visualisation process", according to Jim Angelillo, vice president of strategic relations at Fakespace Systems Inc. "In order to meet this increasing demand for large-scale displays and virtual prototyping systems, we are teaming with HP to expand our capability to offer full-service solutions to meet specific customer requirements."

Fakespace Systems markets the visual computing industry's broadest range of immersive displays for designers, engineers and researchers working with three-dimensional models and complex graphical data. These include the ImmersaDesk family of workbench-type virtual model displays, the CAVE immersive room environments, the WorkWall assortment of dimensionally accurate large-scale flat wall displays, and a large number of best-of-class subsystems from third-party vendors.

To support real time, stereoscopic visualisation and interactivity, Fakespace Systems displays utilise CAVELib and trackd software developed by the University of Illinois, and maintained and distributed by VRCO in Chicago, Illinois. These Application Programming Interfaces, which provide drivers for stereo viewing, head tracking, navigation, and hands-on interactivity support commonly used visualisation software, such as Division from Parametric Technologies Inc. and Open Virtual Factory from Engineering Animation Inc. CAVELib and trackd currently are used in applications running on HP-UX. Fakespace Systems and HP will collaborate with VRCO to support these APIs for NT- and Linux-based HP platforms.

As an HP VAR, Fakespace Systems will be able to bundle the HP VISUALIZE workstations with its world-class display systems, in order to offer complete visualisation solutions to organisations using HP computing platforms. The company will resell the HP VISUALIZE workstation product family, including C-Class and J-Class UNIX workstations, which run the HP-UX operating environment, X-Class Windows NT-based personal workstations, and PL-Class Linux-based personal workstations.

These systems can be configured with HP VISUALIZE fx6 graphics, which includes six dedicated floating-point processors based on HP's Precision Architecture-reduced-instruction-set computing (PA-RISC) technology. Four 64-bit PA-8500 processors running at 440 MHz and supporting up to 8 GB of Synchronous DRAM drive the J7000, which is the highest performance HP VISUALIZE workstation. HP VISUALIZE workstations support all OpenGL applications.

HP's Technical Computing Division forms the world's leading provider of real world application compute power and innovative, high-performance graphics that enable advanced interactive visualisation and rapid virtual prototyping. Designer productivity is the workstation division's primary objective. Also, the consistent delivery of unmatched enterprise wide technical-computing solutions has made the Technical Computing Division a leader in the most demanding technical markets, helping the world's engineers, scientists and artists resolve the toughest design problems.


Leslie Versweyveld

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