A successful co-operation between Fakespace and i-O Display Systems has led to the spectacular release of the new PUSH 640 Desktop Display for less than $10,000. The binocular device enables scientists and industrial developers to perform immersive visualization of 3D models and computer-generated simulations at entry-level or mid-range workstations. The immersive viewing system combines the i-O Display Systems' full colour VGA-quality stereo optics of 640 x 480 pixels per eye with the Fakespace patented PUSH navigation platform. This allows the user to enjoy six degrees of freedom in extensive virtual spaces, as well as to examine virtual models in detail by means of the Virtual Library (VLIB) software.
Instead of having to wear an obstructive head-mounted display (HMD), professionals in engineering, design, scientific research and various other applications using visual computing, now can sit freely at their desk. It is possible to look away from the eyepiece to take notes or talk to a colleague and even share the immersive viewpoint in a collaborative environment in order to receive more value from the 3D data. The PUSH 640 system consists of a small footprint unit with the appropriate dimensions of W 46cm x D 40cm x H 47,5cm to fit on a desk or a tabletop.
Looking into the device looks very much like using a binocular microscope. The user can easily monitor each movement within the visualization, just by gently pressing on the display system's handles. The introduced motions are detected via optomechanical sensors in the desktop base and viewer module and synchronized accordingly with the application software. Buttons on the handles induce vertical movements, in order to provide more supplementary interactive control of the virtual environment. The PUSH 640 is inspired on the high resolution (1280 x 1024), CRT-based Display version, issued in 1995, but is offered at 40 percent of the cost of the PUSH 1280.
The full colour VGA optical assembly, supplied by the Menlo Park based i-O Display Systems Company, consists of an active-matrix thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD). The user can select two different fields-of-view (FOV), namely a 34 degree FOV with a 4:3 aspect ratio, or a 42 degree FOV with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This manufacturer will equally launch a 2D version of the viewing system. Both companies are independently reselling the PUSH 640 to their respective markets and customers. Fakespace will also continue to market the PUSH 1280 at a single unit price of $25,000. The PUSH 640 will be sold for $9,995.
This higher resolution model offers ideal performance in those environments which require extremely precise imaging, such as the visualization of medical images, geophysical data or complex product models. Intuitive navigation through stereoscopic models leads to a more profound understanding of 3D data, according to Mark Bolas, both chairman and chief executive officer of Fakespace. This new kind of visualization may substantially shorten design cycles since the developers need less physical prototypes. More VMW news on the world of 3D imagery and virtual model displays lies in wait at your discovery.