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

‘Governments should have a free software policy’

Governments must have policies that increase their use of free and open source software solutions, says Professor Dr Wolfgang Finke from the Ernst-Abbe University of Applied Sciences in Jena (Germany). In many countries, the use of proprietary software might be unsustainable in the long-term, he says, “either from a technical or from a financial point of view.” Read more

Linux Remote Desktop Roundup

Over the years I've found that a significant hurdle to getting family and friends to switch to Linux comes from its lack of familiarity. This is especially true when it comes to troubleshooting any issues. Obviously, when a malfunction occurs it's not always possible to be there in person. However thanks to the wonders of broadband Internet and advanced software, we're now able to do the next best thing. In this article, I'll share some recommended remote desktop software for Linux. I’ll explore both open source and closed source solutions. Read more

Android ski goggles offer augmented reality display

It runs Android on a 1.2GHz ARM CPU, and offers hands-free control. Read more

Photoshop competitor Krita is a true creative tool -- and it's free and open source

Open source has some of the greatest tools, which continues to prove that you don't have to lock-down the code behind guarded walls to make a better product. Some popular open source products that don't have any match in the closed source world include Firefox, Chromium, VLC, Blender, Android, one gem that is, surprisingly, less known but extremely powerful when it comes to creating a work of art. Read more