Re: Mitsubishi Demo in IEEE Computer

Mike Roberts (miker@nashua.progress.COM)
Wed, 21 Dec 94 16:20:36 EST

On Dec 20, 1:35pm, Jan Hardenbergh wrote:

> The December 1994 issue of IEEE Computer magazine has
> an article showing a 3D rendered virtual environment that
> multiple people participate in remotely. It has very little
> technical detail, but it does have an 11 panel (~33 frame)
> comic strip of the rendered images that one user sees with
> the voices they hear. It has a physics modelling component.
> It claims technical details are in December 1994 IEEE MultiMedia.
> Can anyone confirm that? Is it worth finding?

Yes; another article is there and is probably worth looking at to round out
stuff, it gives little real technical detail; certainly not the hairy stuff
concerning the world modeling, synching, and underlying architecture I would
have liked to have seen. It has less pretty pictures; a subset of the full(er)
sequence which is in Computer. MultiMedia arrived with me first; I was getting
all excited about seeing Computer, and kinda sad when it arrived and I didn't
get the detail there I wanted to see (though computer did have more pictures -
yummy ;) ).

> Worth looking at in color - do not work too hard to see a B&W copy.

It's certainly worth looking at. If it works as they are claiming it is indeed
impressive - and nails the interactivity aspect very well. Most impressive for
me was that they are creating "performance" scripts for 'bots using parsed voice
input ... in essence speaking to the 'bots within the environment, and modifying
their behavior. The world views appear to be synchronised by broadcasting fairly
comprehensive world-state info at about 10 fps (their absolute minimal
acceptable frame rate), an approach which I think would not work so well in a
widely distributed environment with a lot of latency, or one without a whole
bunch 'o bandwidth .. but which works fine across their lan.

This stuff looks like it comes directly from the simulation/mud end of things,
with interactivity and simulation clearly the driving force in the development
program. They do not claim to be VR, instead, they claim to be a distributed
multimedia environment.

I was very impressed ...

-- Mike