SGI Introduces New Strategy to Make Virtual Reality Solutions Pervasive Across Many Industries

Company Introduces Reality Center Desks: Cost-Effective, Out-of-the-Box

Virtual Reality Solutions

Aug 11, 1999, 01:00 ET from SGI

    SIGGRAPH, LOS ANGELES, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- SGI (NYSE:   SGI) today
 announced at SIGGRAPH '99 a new strategy to make immersive group visualization
 solutions pervasive across many industries by offering cost-effective,
 out-of-the-box virtual reality (VR) solutions in addition to customized
 solutions. As part of its strategy, SGI will resell industry-leading immersive
 displays directly to its customers. With the introduction of the SGI(TM)
 Reality Center(TM) 1000D and 2000D desks, SGI will offer the industry's first
 integrated virtual reality solutions available from a single computer company.
 In addition, the company announced its intent to offer an SGI(TM)
 product-branded, flat-screen wall display, scheduled to be available in early
     The strategy announced today reinforces SGI's Virtual Reality Initiative,
 announced in July 1998, which seeks to promote the broader adoption of virtual
 reality technology and make it easier to use in practical applications
 throughout many industries including manufacturing, government, science and
     "As a leader in advanced visualization systems, SGI is making it easier
 and more cost-effective for our customers to gain insight into complex
 scientific, manufacturing or engineering design problems through breakthrough
 immersive visualization solutions," said Drew Henry, vice president, Visual
 Solutions Division, SGI. "By offering a fully integrated solution, customers
 no longer need to work with multiple vendors to complete their virtual reality
     The SGI(TM) Reality Center(TM) 1000D and 2000D desks are typically used in
 science and research for analysis of computational fluid dynamics, physics and
 biochemical research and biomedical simulation. Within manufacturing, these
 products are ideal for computer-aided engineering and data visualization,
 small assembly engineering design, assembly optimization and training
 simulations. Government departments use virtual reality desks for battlefield
 visualization and mission planning.
     In early 2000, the company plans to offer an SGI branded three-channel,
 flat screen, rear-projected display. Featuring Barco projectors, the display
 will provide an extremely bright image with a resolution of more than
 5.5 million pixels in monoscopic mode and more than 3.6 million pixels in
 stereoscopic mode. The new SGI Reality Center wall solution will display
 sharper and crisper images from any viewing angle for viewing by 15 to
 20 people.
     "SGI is a company that really understands immersive and group
 visualization," said Kent Misegades, president of Computational Engineering
 International. "This technology is quickly becoming critical to our customer
 base, and we are very pleased to see that cost-effective Reality Center desk
 solutions based on the visual computing power of the Onyx2 are being
 introduced into the marketplace."
     In addition to offering complete virtual reality solutions, SGI also
 offers extensive services to help customers design and implement immersive
 visualization facilities. The SGI Consulting team works closely with customers
 and display vendors to ensure successful systems integration and to help
 implement cost-effective visual computing solutions. SGI Consulting
 successfully designed and installed integrated group visualization facilities
 for the world's leading automotive and oil companies.
     The Reality Center 1000D desk is based on the Fakespace Mini
 WorkBench(TM). This transportable virtual model display system is small enough
 to use in a standard office or conference room. It features a 31-inch by
 28-inch, high-contrast visualization screen that adjusts from nearly flat to a
 60-degree viewing angle. The Reality Center 1000D desk comes with
 StereoGraphics(R) CrystalEyes(R) shutter glasses for stereoscopic
 visualization, and a pair of tracked PINCH(TM) gloves, which allow
 participants to use their hands to manipulate three-dimensional
 computer-generated images. The head-tracked system corrects stereo image
 perspectives in real time. The Reality Center 1000D desk will also include the
 VLIB(TM) software library from Fakespace Labs, which facilitates custom
 software development.
     The SGI(TM) Reality Center(TM) 2000D desk is based on the Fakespace
 Systems ImmersaDesk(TM) R2, previously marketed by Pyramid Systems. It is a
 larger-scale transportable system, suitable for group viewing, which fits
 through a 33-inch doorway and quickly deploys to a 3.5 foot by 4.5 foot angled
 screen. It enables interactive stereoscopic application development and
 implementation as well as presentation display. Developed by the University of
 Illinois at Chicago, Electronic Visualization Lab, it allows intuitive and
 direct data manipulation with the use of a tracked hand-held wand. Also
 included with the Reality Center 2000D desk are five pairs of StereoGraphics
 CrystalEyes active shutter glasses, including one with an integrated tracker
 to enable continuously corrected stereo image perspectives in real time.
     "SGI shares Fakespace's commitment to providing advanced visualization
 interface products to engineers, designers and researchers working on 3D
 computer-generated data," said Jim Angelillo, vice president of strategic
 relationships at Fakespace Systems Inc. "We have partnered with SGI on many
 projects over the years and are pleased that this agreement will broaden the
 accessibility of Fakespace products in worldwide markets."
     SGI Reality Center desks are powered by the Onyx2(TM) workstation, which
 simultaneously computes and processes 3D graphics, imaging and video data in
 real time. Its industry-leading feature set includes clip mapping, texture
 paging, volume rendering, anti-aliased full-frame HDTV display, multiple
 visual display channels and a variety of tools for managing video, audio and
 advanced user interface devices.
     This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding SGI's
 strategic plans regarding virtual reality solutions which are subject to risks
 and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from
 those described in such statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely unduly
 on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future
 performance. Such risks and uncertainties include the timely development,
 production and release of certain products, including an SGI product-branded
 flat-screen wall display, the relationship between SGI and its suppliers, the
 impact of competitive markets, products and pricing, the acceptance of
 applicable technologies by markets and customers, the ability of SGI to manage
 a complex set of engineering, marketing and distribution relationships, and
 other risks detailed from time to time in SGI's most recent SEC reports,
 including the reports on Form 10-Q and Form 10-K.
     SGI is a market leader in technical computing, offering the world's most
 powerful servers, supercomputers and visual workstations. SGI uniquely
 provides a broad range of high-performance computing and advanced graphics
 solutions that enable customers to understand and conquer their toughest
 computing problems. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with offices
 worldwide, the company is located on the Web at
     NOTE:  Onyx is a registered trademark, and Onyx2, SGI, and Reality Center
 are trademarks, of Silicon Graphics, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned
 herein are the property of their respective owners.