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

How Linux became my job

I've been using open source since what seems like prehistoric times. Back then, there was nothing called social media. There was no Firefox, no Google Chrome (not even a Google), no Amazon, barely an internet. In fact, the hot topic of the day was the new Linux 2.0 kernel. The big technical challenges in those days? Well, the ELF format was replacing the old a.out format in binary Linux distributions, and the upgrade could be tricky on some installs of Linux. Read more

Linux 4.16-rc2

It's been a quiet week, and rc2 is out. I take the fairly quiet rc be a good sign for 4.16, but honestly, rc2 is often fairly calm. That's probably because people are taking a breather after the merge window, but also simply because it might take a while to find any issues. But let's be optimistic, and just assume - at least for now - that it's because all is well. The diffstat is fairly odd, but that often happens with small rc's just because then just a couple of pulls will skew things easily in one or two directions. This time the patch is about one third architecture updates (arm64, x86, powerpc), one third tooling (mostly 'perf') and one third "rest". And yes, the bulk of that rest is drivers (gpu, nvme, sound, misc), but those drivers are still distinctly *not* the bulk of the whole patch. Go out and test, it all looks fine. Read more Also: Linux 4.16-rc2 Kernel Released

OpenStreetMap in IkiWiki and Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble

  • OSM in IkiWiki
    Since about 15 years ago, I have been thinking of creating a geo-referenced wiki of pubs, with loads of structured data to help searching. I don't know if that would be useful for anybody else, but I know I would use it! Sadly, the many times I started coding something towards that goal, I ended blocked by something, and I keep postponing my dream project.
  • Why OpenStreetMap is in Serious Trouble
    That said, while I still believe in the goals of OpenStreetMap, I feel the OpenStreetMap project is currently unable to fulfill that mission due to poor technical decisions, poor political decisions, and a general malaise in the project. I'm going to outline in this article what I think OpenStreetMap has gotten wrong. It's entirely possible that OSM will reform and address the impediments to its success- and I hope it does. We need a Free as in Freedom geographic dataset.

Linux KPI-Based DRM Modules Now Working On FreeBSD 11

Thanks to work done by Hans Petter Selasky and others, this drm-next-kmod port is working on FreeBSD 11 stable. What's different with this package from the ports collection versus the ported-from-Linux Direct Rendering Modules found within the FreeBSD 11 kernel is that these DRM modules are using the linuxkpi interface. Read more