As one of the major providers of interactive visualization solutions for engineers, industrial designers, medical experts, or scientific researchers, Fakespace never seems to take any breath. Their latest achievement in the area of interactive stereoscopic viewing and hands-on manipulation of large-scale computer-generated visualizations, simulations and prototypes, is the Immersive WorkWall. This newest addition to the virtual WorkSpace product line consists of a flat-screen, rear-projection display system, scaling to 8 by 24 feet, and offers high-resolution imagery with great dimensional accuracy.
The Immersive WorkWall is specifically designed for the detailed viewing and manipulation of two-dimensional and stereoscopic models in a wide range of applications, such as product design and virtual prototyping, as well as for scientific data analysis and geophysical exploration. This tool enables designers to work with full-size digital prototypes and allows teams of geophysicists to collaborate in the review of thousands of square miles of seismic data. For researchers who are familiar with high performance visual computing, the Immersive WorkWall may provide useful assistance.
In order to optimize the system's efficiency, Fakespace has introduced a set of special features into the Immersive WorkWall. In a flash of time, a single person can replace with great ease an off-line projector thanks to the Quick Swap railing system. The Feather Edge screen surround system applies a physical setback to enhance the illusion of depth. In case of extensive work sessions, the Anti-Fatigue raised flooring provides the necessary comfort for the user, standing in front of the wall. The company has spent a lot of time talking to current and potential clients about which applications and which user requirements had to be taken into account.
The Fakespace team has also integrated the powerful Virtual Library (VLIB) software, thus enabling interactivity with 3D visualizations while assuring their dimensional accuracy. The VLIB programme includes device drivers as well as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), in order to interface with 3D modelling and simulation applications. In this way, the user can perform stereo viewing and head tracking in 3D with a range of interactive devices for intuitive manipulation of the visual presentations, that are displayed on the Immersive WorkWall.
The assisting tools involve the popular PINCH Glove as well as two new and attractive devices, especially designed for use with the flat screen display. The first one is the NavPod, a six degrees-of-freedom navigation tool, based on Fakespace's PUSH technology. NavPod facilitates movement within the 3D environment of the Immersive WorkWall. SPIN, the second interface, is a very simple steering wheel type of device, which allows non-technical senior managers to rotate the computer-generated models. The display system is equipped with active shuttered glasses for 3D viewing and a sound system for audible cues.
The Immersive WorkWall is available in a variety of custom-made floor-to-ceiling display configurations, such as larger screen areas; high brightness with solid state projection options; motion tracked, spatial audio; and lots of other options. Whenever the system is equipped with two active Electrohome Marquee CRT projectors, the WorkWall provides a high-resolution seamless 8 by 16-foot display. Instead, the three-projector set-up offers a seamless display area of up to 8 by 24 feet, with more than 3.9 mega pixels. The total system footprint includes a screen-to-projector system depth of 21 feet, thus offering an optimal straight projector path.
In addition, the company can also engineer folded lightpath configurations for space restricted areas. Pricing for the Immersive WorkWall system starts at $200.000. Other display systems in the Fakespace assortment of virtual WorkSpace products include the VersaBench, Immersive WorkBench, and Mini WorkBench virtual model displays. You can find more details on the Fakespace products in the VMW article Mini WorkBench new baby in Fakespace's immersive visualization assortment in the March 1999 issue.