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
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 2000. 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 education. "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 package." 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 www.sgi.com. 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.RELATED LINKS
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