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  CGSD Debuts ARES-100 Augmented Reality System at SIGGRAPH

It Puts 3D Stereo Imagery at the User's Fingertips, Quite Literally

SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles, California, August 8, 1999 -- A new commercial augmented reality system, the ARES-100, was announced today by Computer Graphics Systems Development (CGSD) Corporation, of Mountain View, CA. Developed in cooperation with the Research Department of Hokkaido Electric Power Company, the system is being demonstrated at the CGSD booth [#905] at SIGGRAPH, the world’s biggest computer graphics conference, which is in Los Angeles this week.

Whereas virtual reality systems replace the real world with a computer-generated world, augmented reality systems add computer graphics imagery to the real world, using a see-through headset to superimpose the computer imagery on the real world. The computer imagery in an augmented reality system can be used to show, graphically, how a real device should be assembled or repaired. Alternatively, abstract data like temperature may be converted to graphical representations for viewing with the hot object.

For design visualization, an image of a new design can be made to hang in space, viewed in the correct perspective by each ARES-equipped person on the design team; the 3D object can be critiqued by pointing at features of the object, and the whole team will observe the action using the see-through headset displays. In such applications, the systems offers advantages over traditional projection-based systems such as virtual workbenches and CAVE systems. The augmented reality system works in normal room light.

CGSD President Roy Latham stated, "Augmented reality systems have been notoriously tricky to implement, especially at modest cost. Our cooperation with Hokkaido Electric Power Company (HEPCO), the electric utility on the North Island of Japan, has resulted in a practical system with many applications."

The system includes a rack-mounted PC system, a specially prepared head mounted display, a hybrid optical/inertial tracking system, a tracked wand for data interaction, data visualization software, and complete manuals. The baseline ARES-100 system is offered by CGSD for $24,900. Options are offered to meet a variety of application needs, such as increased display resolution.

CGSD is a privately held company in Mountain View, CA, specializing in the development of virtual reality and simulation training systems. They offer both services and products related to virtual reality, including consulting, full custom systems, and hardware and software system components. Founded in 1990, CGSD has provided products and services internationally to major aerospace, industrial, and entertainment companies, as well as many government agencies.

Contact Computer Graphics Systems Development Corporation (CGSD) at 2483 Old Middlefield Way, #140, Mountain View, CA 94043 USA, Phone: 650-903-4920, Fax: 650-967-5252, E-mail:, Web site:


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