Contact: P.Y. Cheng, V.P. Marketing,, 650 903-4920.

New Rugged CGSD Adapter with SONY HMD Brings High-Quality Virtual Reality to the Mall, or to Military Training

SIGGRAPH, Los Angeles, California, August 8, 1999 -- A new head-mounted display (HMD) system rugged enough for use in games, military training, research systems, and for other strenuous applications was announced today by Computer Graphics Systems Development (CGSD) Corporation, of Mountain View, CA. Developed in cooperation with consumer-electronics giant SONY, the CGSD RA-100 is an adapter that ruggedizes SONY’s LDI-100 series of head-mounted displays. The unit is being shown in both the SONY and CGSD booths [CGSD: booth 905, SONY: booth 1619] at SIGGRAPH, the world’s biggest computer graphics conference, which is in Los Angeles this week.

Head-mounted displays are key components of virtual reality systems. They make it possible for one to enter a virtual world that seems to surround the user. The HMD can provide stereo color images and spatialized sound that make one feel immersed in the virtual world. However, before the introduction of the CGSD RA-100 HMD with the Sony HMD, head-mounted displays were notoriously expensive, low quality, and fragile. Last year at SIGGRAPH, SONY introduced the LDI-100 HMD, which provided a higher quality picture than any other similarly priced HMD. However, the LDI-100 is far too delicate for prolonged arcade game use or for use in adverse environments.

The CGSD RA-100 used with the Sony LDI-100 HMD is a technological breakthrough, offering bright, high resolution (600 x 800) imagery in a sturdy frame at a much lower price than the industry has previously offered.

CGSD solved the problem of fragility by repackaging the SONY optical assembly from the LDI-100 in an extremely rugged frame built of space-age, high-strength, composites, with an attractive durable black rubberized finish. The optics are enclosed to protect them if the RA-100 is dropped or bumped. CGSD also added a mechanism that permits rapid adjustment of the optics for each user, but retains the correct position for each user. Miniature, high-fidelity, non-contact headphones deliver stereo sound.

The monoscopic SONY HMD mounted in the RA-100 is available now from CGSD Corp. Single units are priced at us$3,250 for a limited time. Stereoscopic and PAL versions are also available.

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:


Editors note: A color picture of the CGSD RA-100 with the Sony HMD is available at:

General information and specifications are available from:

The CGSD logo is available at: