Wow Technologies at GEOINT2005

By Hal Reid

The GEOINT Conference is a place to see some of the technologies that we may eventually have in our businesses, home office or living rooms.Here are some "wow" technologies I found interesting at this year's meeting.

SGI (Click for larger image)

WOW Product #1 - Visualization/projection Technology from SGI
Silicon Graphics (SGI) showed a prototype Sony video projector that was driven by a SGI super computer consisting of mulitple processors (digital and video) that was capable of displaying an image of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels.This was on a screen that was about twenty feet wide.The image is seamless and is displaying multiple video data streams, in real time.The SGI super computer is modular, with modules for processing data, video and storage allow for a configuration relative to the amount of processing required.

WOW Product #2 - Activu Plus from Imtech Corporation
Imtech Corp., a systems integrator, showed an approach to visualizing very large images using technology (hardware, software and services) that they sell.The technology supports almost unlimited image size and is used for controlling rail operations, emergency management and even in financial markets.These were Data Display Cubes from Mitsubishi that are available in several sizes.For example, a 60 inch cube that is 10 inches deep or a giant 67 inch cube.The cubes can be linked to show one or more images spanning the collection of Data Cubes.They can also be stacked five cubes high with almost as many wide for which you have space.For example, the installation at a New Jersey rail operations center consists of 177 cubes and spans almost 1/8th of a mile.The spacing between monitors is only one millimeter, making them appear almost seamless.Each monitor can display an image of 1,024 by 768 pixels so that the resolution across numerous cubes remains very high.

An installation at a New Jersey Rail Operation. (Click for larger image)

WOW Product #3
- 3D LCD display from Planar
Planar has a 3D LCD display that only requires the user to wear a pair of polarized glasses that have neither a connection to the monitor or a power supply, which makes seeing the 3D images easy with light and maintenance free glasses.The 3D images are sharp and clear and use two LCD Monitors with what Planar calls a Stereo Mirror between them to achieve the stereo image.The Planar system can be used in a dual monitor configuration, with one monitor for stereo 3D and the other monitor for standard 2D viewing.

3D LCD display from Planar.Used with permission.(Click for larger image)

WOW Product #4
- 360 degree photo imagery from Immersive Media
This technology uses eleven cameras in a geodesic design to create very wide views of streets, landscapes and any other environment.It can be used to drive a street and capture all the buildings on either side as a movie, all at the same time.They can be formed into one image or if the imagery is captured using an aerial vehicle, it can capture a wide geographic area.The movies showing 360 degrees can be progressive, so that if you are viewing a street segment, you can see it from what is in front of you, what is on either side or even what is behind you as you move down the street.The camera can be mounted on almost any vehicle and if used on a UAV, it can give the remote pilot a very realistic view of the airspace.

360 degree photo imagery from Immersive Media.Used with permission.(Click for larger image)

Published Monday, November 14th, 2005

Written by Hal Reid

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