At the SIGGRAPH'98 Exhibition in Orlando, which took place from July 21st till 23rd, the expert public could get an interactive taste of the 3D visualization potential offered by the Immersive WorkBench and VersaBench, two Virtual Model Display (VMD) systems that are developed by Fakespace. In collaboration with Sun Microsystems, the company first showcased the Immersive WorkBench, using a beta version of the Java 3D programming environment. Second, the power of the new VersaBench was demonstrated in a range of scientific and practical applications.
Both VMD systems are able to strongly support the multiple graphical computing platforms, thus allowing engineers, designers, medical as well as other researchers, and military staff to view but also manipulate realistic 3D computer-generated models, just as if they were dealing with real objects. This kind of virtual worlds are created for applications in education and training, scientific and commercial research, product design and engineering.
The interactive model, set up by Fakespace and Sun at SIGGRAPH'98 for the Immersive WorkBench Java 3D implementation, constituted a detailed 3D visualization, enabling the user to arrange "virtual" furniture on a tiled floor. The visitors were invited to select 3D models of chairs, lamps and dressers from a moving palette, in order to place them into the virtual room by means of a stylus and the matching PINCH glove interface system. The system ran on Sun's Ultra 60 workstation with Elite3D graphics.
A Silicon Graphics Onyx 2 InfiniteReality visualization supercomputer was used to monitor the VersaBench in another demonstration of 3D simulation, including models for earth science as well as computational fluid dynamics and mechanical design. The VersaBench has been originally developed for the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), located at Patuxent River in Maryland. This innovative VMD system is the very first to support solid state projection technology and passive stereo viewing.
The VersaBench is equipped with a compact footprint with relation to its large viewing surface, an adaptable viewing plane, able to swiftly move from horizontal to full vertical, and an excellent brightness. Fakespace's products assortment further includes the following immersive head-coupled displays: the BOOM3C, the Fakespace Simulation System or FS≤, and the PUSH Desktop Display. For more information, we refer to our article Investment in Fakespace extends 3D data visualization potential for Electrohome, which appeard in the August issue.