Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

See virtual worlds in the round

Filed under
Sci/Tech

A GOLDFISH bowl in which 3D video images appear suspended in mid-air could help surgeons target tumours more precisely, air-traffic controllers prevent air accidents, and drug designers better understand the structures of promising molecules.

"On a 2D screen, a protein molecule looks like tangled spaghetti. But when it appears in our machine, you begin to fully grasp its 3D structure," says Gregg Favalora of Actuality Systems, which is behind the $40,000 display.

As Favalora walks around his display, a 3D computer model of a protein molecule hovers inside its smoky white soccer-ball-sized sphere. At the click of a mouse, the molecule disappears and is replaced by images of two airliners on a collision course in simulated 3D airspace.

Favalora is showing off his Massachusetts-based company's new product, Perspecta 1.9. It's the first 3D display that lets users view 3D moving images by walking all the way around it, view from on top or below, or zoom in and out in real time. It was unveiled last week at the Society for Information Display's annual exhibition in Boston.

A prototype version appeared in 2001 that could only show a low-resolution, static 3D image. Now, with the addition of dedicated graphics-processing hardware, the system is able to twist and turn images in real time at video rates.

Several applications have already emerged. Two oil companies, three medical centres and the US air force have bought or loaned Perspectas and are using them respectively to visualise slices of the Earth's crust from seismic data, human organs from MRI and CT scans, and squadrons of aircraft from radar data.

This is a big step forward from rotating a 3D computer image on a flat screen, Favalora says. Nothing beats being able to walk all the way around the object, view it from the top and zoom in whenever you want, he claims.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu Touch to Land with Bq Aquaris e4.5 Phones in February

The first two companies that have been confirmed to release phones with Ubuntu Touch are Meizu and Bq. Until now, only Meizu showed any kind of involvement with Ubuntu Touch and they were the first to announce a launch window. On the other hand, Bq has been silent, but it seems to have been very busy and to be the first one out the door. Read more

Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule

Linus announced on Friday night that he's closing the merge window early for 3.19. Torvalds said that he's pulling the last of the pull requests on Saturday -- related to KBuild and the READ_ONCE split-up -- but is planning to then close the merge window. Read more

X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues

Julien Cristau of Debian announced the X.Org Server 1.16.3 release on Saturday morning. The primary focus of this release is on correcting the security issues within the GLX, DIX, XV, DRI3, RENDER, and other areas of the xorg-server code-base affected by outstanding security problems. Read more