During the SIGGHRAPH'98 Exhibition in Orlando, last July, Trimension Systems presented the largest interactive computer workstation. This V-DESK10, a visualization system for collaborative real time design, enables immersive virtual reality viewing in high ambient light. In the expo's Digital Pavilion, the company provided the Enhanced Realities section with the Relocatable Reality Room, a self contained and portable Reality Center to simultaneously immerse fairly large groups of people into a virtual reality environment.
Trimension systems, a British virtual solutions integrator, has been focusing its attention on large scale immersive and semi-immersive environments for virtual reality applications, such as seismic data analysis, engineering design review, and architectural walkthroughs. The company is working together with Silicon Graphics Inc., which has Reality Center as a trademark in its portfolio.
The V-DESK10 system incorporates no less than three PRODAS LCD 1280 x 1024 projection engines. Their high brightness and resolution quality allows virtual reality scenes no longer to be laid in the dark but to be transmitted into the broad daylight of the design studio, as Blair Parkin, Trimension's Managing Director states. The unique projection equipment is based on the OptiBlend technology, transforming into one single image the result of three or more LCD projectors.
A group of six designers and programmers are able to simultaneously view the enormous project displays on the 170 square foot wrap around screen and review the results in real time. Incredibly detailed life size images, that are produced by means of one to one visual scale modelling out of almost 12 million display pixels, present an ideal tool for the automotive design and aerospace structure analysis.
Just because of the images' "Jumbo-jet size", it is even possible to perform presentations for an audience up to 30 people. The same goes for the Relocatable Reality Room, which includes a huge three channel PRODAS display to generate a virtual reality environment immersing up to 20 people. At SIGGRAPH'98, Trimension went as far as showcasing a Reality Center configuration for 100 people, using a six channel PRODAS display.
Visitors of the Silicon Graphics booth were invited to collectively view 3D images on a cylindrical screen of 55 foot via CrystalEyes LCD shutter glasses. The viewing angle measured 130∞ by 40∞. Who knows? Maybe solutions such as the Reality Center and the V-DESK10, would provide useful applications in medical specialities too, for training or educational purposes for instance.