30 June 2007

HTC Advantage

The latest cutting edge mobile device is the HTC Advantage PDA with high-speed global connectivity and PC-style power. The HTC Advantage is unfortunately based again on Windows Mobile 5.0 operating systems but comes with inbuilt GPS and navigation software. The main advantage of the device is that it comes as two magnetic pieces that ‘glue’ together if required: the main processing unit with a touch screen and a keyboard.

The main processing unit is a 5-inch VGA 640x480 colour touch screen, which is challenging when performing navigation compared to other windows mobile 5.0 PDAs (i.e. MIO A701, HP 6915, HTC Universal). The second component of the PDA is a full detachable keyboard, which allows to be used as a small computing device (when not navigating) and can replace some of the laptop operations. However, when navigating it is much easier to use the virtual keyboard and leave the physical keyboard in your pocket. An example of virtual representation of City University campus running in Pocket Cortona is shown below.

Another advantage of the HTC Advantage is provides excellent communication facilities. Users may connect anywhere with 3G/HSDPA and Wi-Fi®; and stereo Bluetooth® 2.0 which is excellent for wireless audio. The HTC Advantage has up to 8 hours’ battery life and an 8GB hard drive and miniSDTM are the main options for storage. The on-board 3.0 megapixel camera (and second VGA camera) allows for the implementation of augmented reality applications. Finally, the last interesting feature of the device is the VGA output capability.

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24 June 2007

VAIO UX Handheld PC

VAIO UX is the smallest, lightest, fully functioning VAIO PC ever made. Some of the technical characteristics include: Intel® Core™ Solo Processor Ultra Low Voltage U1500, Intel® PRO/Wireless 802.11a/b/g, 32 GB hard drive (Flash memory), 1 GB DDR2-533 SDRAM, 1 GB SDRAM, 4.5" touch panel LCD, Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950, 2 built-in digital cameras, and Wireless LAN 802.11a/b/g.

The main advantage of this computer is that it puts the world in your pocket, and at your fingertips. For this reason, it is the most perfect device currently in the market for navigation and wayfinding. Compared to PDAs it has almost the same size but it is much more powerful, allowing this way to develop robust virtual and augmented reality navigational applications.

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17 June 2007

Rome Reborn

Rome Reborn is a collaborative project between the UCLA Cultural Virtual Reality Laboratory (CVRLab), the UCLA Experiential Technology Center (ETC), the Reverse Engineering (INDACO) Lab at the Politecnico di Milano, and the Institute for Advanced Technologies in Humanities (IATH) at the University of Virginia in order to create a digital 3D model of ancient Rome as it appeared in late antiquity. The notional date of Rome Reborn is June 21, 320 A.D. An example screenshot of the Rome Reborn 3D model is shown below.

The main objective of the project was to spatialize and present information and theories about how ancient Rome looked at this particular moment in time. Spatialization and presentation involve: (a) the knowledge used to digitally reconstruct the topography, urban infrastructure (streets, bridges, aqueducts, walls, etc) and individual buildings and monuments and (b) the sources of archaeological information behind the digital reconstructions. Furthermore, the 3D model consists of two types of materials (a) highly detailed models of buildings that can be reconstructed on the basis of reliable archaeological evidence and (b) buildings and other features that are known only by type and frequency in the particular region of ancient Rome.

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06 June 2007

Myvu Viewer

The Myvu head-mounted display (HMD) designed by MicroOptical Corp., was made specifically for the 30G, 60G and the 80G Apple iPod® with video capabilities. Like other HMDs, the Myvu provides a hands-free, big-screen personal viewing experience but unlike most of them it is one of the smallest and lightest eyewear displays available today.

Myvu contains built-in video viewing and audio systems for high quality viewing. Users can connect it to the iPod or other mobile processing unit and perceive eight hours of immersive visualisation. A small pendant provides easy access to playback and brightness controls. Currently the price is around $300 but the company will try to reduce the price to $99 and put the optics into ordinary prescription glasses.

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