RealityEngine graphics supercomputers are designed for applications, not benchmarks. Incorporating buffers at each stage of the graphics pipeline, RealityEngine maintains full pipeline performance regardless of the type of rendering being performed. This abilitiy to sustain performance enables VR applications to maintain high frame update rates. This is critical for VR, as varying frame rates force the participant to focus on the system rendering the data rather than immersing themselves in the data itself.
RealityEngine graphics supercomputers redefine the state-of-the-art in interactive data visualization. Setting new standards for image realism, quality, and performance, RealityEngine systems are the enabling technology needed to bring Virtual Reality into the mainstream of 3D visualization. Interactive visualizations of data abstractions are "virtual realities", while the field of Virtual Reality encompasses both the representation of the data and the interface through which the user is immersed into the visualization.
RealityEngine incorporates a balanced architecture which avoids trading away features for performance. This enables applications to achieve interac-tive realism, rendering fully texture mapped, anti-aliased, shaded and z-buffered scenes at the full speed of the graphics pipeline, providing performance benefits for every type of application, regardless of the type of visualization being performed. Interactive realism is Virtual Reality made practical.
Once rendered, virtual environments may be output either directly through the display board to a monitor, through the roamable NTSC or PAL signal which operates concurrently with the high resolution display, or through the VideoSplitter/2 video option board. The VideoSplitter/2 option provides up to six simultaneous independent video signals from a single RealityEngine pipeline, the individual outputs being portions of the displayable frame buffer. This option opens the way for lower-cost exploration of complex, multi-participant virtual environments using a single system.
Application Building Tools
Building applications for immersive exploration of data can be accomplished using software tools such as IRIS Explorer, IRIS Inventor, and the IRIS Performer simulation toolkit. Higher level toolkits and immersive peripherals are available from a variety of third party software and hardware vendors. A sampling of the types of available VR peripherals for displays, tracking, and input are listed:
U.S. 1 800 800 SGI 1 (7441)
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Copyright 1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc. All rights reserved. Silicon Graphics, IRIS and the Silicon Graphics logo are registered trademarks, and RealityEngini Crimson and Power Series are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc. Specifications are subject to change without notice.