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Report on "3D Consortium sub committee activities joint press conference"
September 10th, 2003
The press conference held at the Sharp building in Makuhari, Chiba prefecture on the Services/Contents sub-committee, Technology sub-committee and Safety/Guidelines sub-committee took the form of an interim general summary of the content of the activities from the inauguration of the Consortium for about half a year. An exhibition was given on the day by the 22 members and organisations before the joint press conference. Overseas members (Australia) and associate members also attended this and the content of the exhibition was various ranging from displays to editing software, display systems, services and contents etc. On this occasion 71 members and 173 other people attended but the number of visitors to the exhibition alone was very high.
"Efforts to create and expand 3D markets"
Mr. Katayama, Chairman of the Consortium

"Capturing, editing, displaying 3D video images"
Professor Matsuyama of Kyoto University's Graduate School

"VR and 3D Contents"
Professor Michitaka Hirose of The University of Tokyo

"New business that 3D technology is opening up and the potential market"
Professor Ito of The University of Tokyo

"Free view point TV. How to achieve the ultimate 3D TV"
Professor Tanimoto of Nagoya University's Graduate School

Message from overseas members
Mr. Chris Yewdall of DDD Corp.

Announcement of activities by the Services/Contents sub-committee
Mr. Horikoshi, head of Services/Contents

Announcement of activities of technology sub-committee
Mr. Hamagishi, head of technology

Announcement of Safety/Guidelines sub-committee activities
Mr. Chiba, head of Safety/Guidelines sub-committee.

Greeting by head of administration
Mr. Taniguchi, Secretary General, 3D Consortium


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"Efforts to create and expand 3D markets"
Mr. Katayama, Chairman of the Consortium
Half a year has passed since the inauguration of the 3D Consortium. I had a look at the exhibition by the members of this Consortium that was held this morning before the joint press conference and I really felt that the possibilities of the spread of the 3D market can be seen, including hardware, software and contents. Today, I will report on the status at the present time of the Consortium and would like to talk to you about Sharp's future efforts.

The pursuit of "realism" of images

I will use slides to explain changes in the pursuit of "realism" of images.
Since humans first captured "images" in their hands, in other words since the start of the imaging industry, and since TV was invented in the 20th century, the industry has spread and is currently progressing with mobile phones, PDA, PC and projectors. Over the hundred years since 1900, movies (film systems) have gradually progressed but television (electron display systems) has also developed, progressing from black and white to colour and then to high vision displays. What they both have in common is that they are striving to improve the sense of realism and they both have high expectations for the technology of 3D expression.

Of the 5 senses of man, it is very important what happens with vision and indeed the display that becomes the interface with his vision. Achieving a reliable vision space, sense of realism, sense of depth, sense of quality, in other words, high quality depth, are demanded. Despite the fact that even 10 years ago there were high expectations for 3D devices, the relationship between hardware (displays) and software (contents) was comparable to the relationship between the chicken and the egg and was falling into a negative spiral. This kind of business cannot be achieved by the power of the government or by the power of the people let alone on the strength of just one company. The 3D Consortium has destroyed this barrier with one blow and was set up to start a positive spiral. Everyone is conscious that the 3D industry will not come about unless the 3D industry, namely hardware, software and contents are organised, so the Consortium is trying to bring together people in the various fields and create new industries and a new market.

141 companies or organisations participated

The 3D Consortium was set up on March 4th this year and since them seminars and sub-committee activities have been held practically non-stop. At present, there are 141 companies or organisations including steering companies, standard members and associate members. The Consortium is involved in activities in various fields but if we look on a global scale, the size of the Consortium is quite considerable. In terms of external activities, the Consortium has exhibited at various exhibitions including SEMI FPD Expo and attended meetings such as imaging and medical related meetings and has positively been involved in conferences.

A recent trend that has become clear is access to the Consortium and strong demand from abroad. A conference to explain the 3D Consortium was held in June this year in Luxembourg and the same kind of lecture given again at SIGGRAPH in San Diego in the US in July.

Developments of hardware from the viewpoint of creating 3D display industries have gradually appeared on the PC, monitor and display sides starting with mobile phones and on the product side so there are high hopes for developments using these displays. The Consortium hopes to open up new markets such as new entertainment worlds and creating new medical technologies and to expand markets that will mean bringing 3D into existing markets.

I would like to talk a bit hear about Sharp's efforts. For Sharp, LC is a core business, core competence but we have been involved in 3D for 10 years as one core element of LC. Since 1992 when we started serious development of 3D we have been working on the LC itself of the hardware and tracking technologyc and development from the head tracking type to 2D/3D switching type and have been involved in development of software conversion technology or image processing technology. These have principally been developed by SLE but since 2002 not just Britain but Sharp's technical divisions have also been putting their efforts into development. To ensure that Sharp's 3D LC maintains compatibility with existing contents, it is a characteristic that 2D display/3D display can be electrically switched.

First stage, second stage, third stage of 3D applied products

The mobile phone SH25liS was launched in November last year as the first stage of the 3D applied products and the sales results achieved were over a million. As the second stage, the SH505i was launched in June this year but the display has been increased in size to the 2.4" and the reproduction capability of 3D has been raised using CG silicon LC.
Tomorrow we will hold a press conference but as the third stage, but we will launch the 2D/3D switching 15" notebook PC. 3D expression will expand in the worlds of Web shopping, electronic museums, medical devices, games etc. and we are planning development ranging from mobile phones to PC, TV, video cameras, PDA etc.

In terms of external activities, the 3D consortium plans to attend the Asia Design International Seminar, The High Realism Display Forum, IDW, the Symposium of the Japan Optics Association. Internally, each sub-committee will meet regularly and hold Working group activities, and would like to hold an annual general meeting starting in February 2004.

On the other hand, our work overseas is also an important issue. We have many dealings with overseas manufacturers and contents manufacturers and we cannot exist just by the Consortium's activities in Japan so we will get the 3D Consortium's activities going overseas at the earliest opportunity. The basic thinking is to spread the 3D Consortium's activities that were started in Japan to the rest of the world. We aim to spread worldwide this business chance while gaining feedback information from overseas. The overseas activities will be in Europe, the US and Asia. There is a lot more contents in overseas art galleries and museums than in Japan and European medical fields are also more advanced than Japan so there are a lot of business opportunities. In the US, there is the huge Hollywood imaging infrastructure and a huge amount of imaging entertainment and games contents.

The scale of the 3D market is about 3 trillion yen in Japan

I feel sure that this 3D market will grow enormously thanks to the participation of all of you in various fields such as medicine, education, museums, games, e-commerce etc.

The 3D Consortium's raison d'etre is to make an environment to make 3D contents, to make an environment to see and to promote the spread of their platforms and of 3D devices. It is also important to look at guidelines such as discovering killer contents and services and safety. We also want to form and expand the 3D market and hope to grow into a huge market in the future. When the Consortium was established, the scale of the 3D market in Japan was estimated to be about 3 trillion yen. At the moment, it is still small but by 2004 and 2005 we believe it will show accelerated growth so I hope that you will all work together to achieve our targets by 2008. The activities of the Consortium are approaching the second bend, and we believe it to be an important point for an about-turn. The next six months are likely to be a very important time.
Sharp is working hard but we need to all join forces.
Thank you very much.

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"Capturing, editing, displaying 3D video images"
Graduate School of Informatics, Kyoto University
Professor Matsuyama
3D video images are not just CG animation but also real stereoscopic video images whereby the temporal changes in the raw shape, form, colour of animals in the natural world, or people doing dance or sport for example are recorded as they are in 3D.
The 3D video image capture and creation process that we currently use involves taking multi viewpoint simultaneous video photography, extracting the silhouette of the object, gaining 3D Voxel data by means of the silhouette volume intersecting method, calculating the surface shape and texture mapping.
The incorrect shape that is the problem with the silhouette volume intersecting method can be solved
By using the highly accurate restoration method of the 3D shape which uses an elastic mesh model. This elastic mesh model has the characteristic that even fairly complex 3D shapes can be accurately restored. In the case of texture mapping, we have thought of the view point dependency vertex base method which solves flickering due to the difference of the images taken between the cameras which was the problem with the view point single surface base method, and which solves flickering due to ill adjustment of the texture between the adjacent surface batches. In this way, flickering and lack of continuity can be solved and more realistic 3D video images can be rendered.

We will next research the introduction of lighting effects as well as improving the current methods. We are therefore preparing a new environment for our experiments, a 100m2 studio with 25 cameras and 30 PCs. Once this studio is completed, we plan to apply our research to the field of digitally archiving traditional dance such as Noh and Kyomai (Digital National Human Heritage Archive).

Professor Takashi Matsuyama
Professor of Informatics at Kyoto University's Graduate School of Informatics

1976 Completed Masters at Kyoto University's Graduate School. Assistant at Kyoto University. Assistant at Tohoku University. Professor at Okayama University.
1995 Specialist Professor in Electronic Communications Engineering, Kyoto University's Graduate School.
2002 Head of Academic Centre for Computing and Media Studies, Trustee of Kyoto University.
Researching, artificial intelligence, cooperative distributed vision, 3D video research.

Please see Professor Matsuyama's home page for more details.

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Still being prepared. Please be patient.
Tokyo University
Professor Michitaka Hirose

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"New businesses that 3D technology will open up and potential markets"
Tokyo University
Professor Ito
Technical development of the 3D industry should consider all of the market trends and the existing infrastructure and not just improving key technologies. Development should be studied bearing in mind changes in the industry as a whole taking advantage of the change in generation. This will allow expansion of the industry's strategy adoption of next generation international standard to follow on from the IT revolution, with the "transition to 3D of contents" as the main criterion.

The fundamental characteristic of 3D technology is the "lively sense of realism". 3D visual technology can be summarized from the point of view of the cognitive sciences as technology that gives the user a sense of depth. The model example of this is the 3D endoscope. Perception, recording and academic superiority of 3D technology can also be applied to educational programmes and we are investigating projects. It is also possible to achieve greater effects than 2D media when 3D broadcasting is used in advertising.
Converting the media industry to 3D means targeting hypothetically the human brain as the final frontier per module, such as the mechanisms that perceive space including the hippocampus, amygdaloid complex and so on. This will lead to an actual reversal of the economy.
:The knowledge industry is brain business." We will generally look at the possibility of adopting global de facto standards in parallel with domestic terrestrial wave 3D full digitalisation, with the temporary slogan of "the brain business and 3D - the winning combination!"

(3D Consortium responsible for text.)

Ken Ito
Assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, Tokyo University's Graduate School

1992 Completed Master Course at Tokyo University's Graduate School
1995 Left the university having obtained Ph.D and in the same year became an internship fellow at the Agency for Cultural Affairs.
1999 Completed Ph.D in general cultural research.
April 1999 Visiting researcher at NTT Communications Science Laboratory. Also lecturer at Keio University.
2000 Since April 2000 in current role. As a committee member of the Intellectual Structures Project Tokyo University Engineering Department, and of the "Go Japan!", an urgent project run by industry, the government and academia in conjunction with the Cabinet's educational project, in charge of a division that applies brain recognition characteristics to educational media.

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"Free view point TV. How to achieve the ultimate 3D TV"
Nagoya University's Graduate School
Professor Tanimoto
TVs in the past have always shown the same scene even if the user changes his viewpoint. In contrast to this, FTV (free viewpoint TV) is a TV whereby the scene changes as the viewpoint changes. It is the ultimate 3D TV which relays a real 3D scene as it is. FTV is possible because it shows all the visual information of the 3D space, in other words, it gathers all the light ray space information. When the images taken from many viewpoints are collected, it becomes a light ray space and the cross-section of that light ray space becomes the image of a certain viewpoint.
The light ray space signal has the characteristics that real images can be created, it is a natural extension of the image signal, it does not depend on the scene, the amount of raw data is great but it can be highly compressed, the number of cameras needed can be reduced by supplementing the light ray space.
FTV is a next generation TV with high power of expression as well as being positioned as information infrastructure to improve the security of society. The applications of FTV are, for example, entertainment, natural observation, barrier free tourism, art galleries, museums, archives, distance learning, medicine, security, traffic etc. We are currently carrying out large scale experiments using 100 cameras and international standardisation activities. FTV has gained a high reputation internationally. In the future FTV will be further expanded and we aim to build a social infrastructure as the camera sensor Network.

Masayuki Tanimoto
Professor of Information Electronics, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya University

1976 Completed Ph.D in Engineering Research, Graduate School, Tokyo University, Dr. of Engineering, Deputy Chairman, Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers, Chairman, Specialist Committee Communications Methods Research, The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers Chairman, steering committee, Picture Coding Symposium of Japan
Fellow of Information Electronics Communications Society contributing to compression and processing of image information.
1986 The Ichimura Foundation prize for new technical development
1987 Award from the Telecommunications Advancement Foundation
1994 Niwa-Takayanagi Award from the Institute of Image Information and Television Engineers
2001 IEEE Intelligent Vehicles Symposium 2001,Outstanding Papers in Interactive Session Award
2001 Oustanding papers at 3D image conferenc

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Messages from overseas members
Mr. Chris Yewdall of DDD
For details, please download the PP data.
Data from the DDD presentation

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Talk on the activities of the Services/Contents Sub-committee
Report on the activities of the Services/Contents Sub-committee
Mr. Horikoshi, head of Services/Contents Sub-committee
Aims of the Services/Contents Sub-committee
  • Activation of the 3D contents market
  • Finding new services using the contents
  • Support between participating companies
    To achieve the above aims, we will forge links with specialists in a variety of fields and promote the building of support systems.
Significance of contents, content of activities such as experiments and seminars

The organisation of the sub-committee and the working group inaugurated in June
As contents that can be received by a wide variety of generations, the film "Iron Man no. 28" will be used and developed as a way to promote 3D.

In working groups to date we have looked at how the 3D contents should be.
From now on we will prepare a test server for the general public and become involved in work to positively show the activities of the Consortium.

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Announcement of the activities of the Technology Sub-committee
Report of activities of Technology Sub-committee
Mr. Hamagishi
Background of the 3D Consortium
  • Arrival of the multimedia era and 3D stereoscopic boom
  • Rapid development of simulation technology
  • Expectations for forceful images and sense of realism
    Expectations for 3D displays are growing given this kind of background.
However, what the 3D market that is struggling to grow currently requires is:
  • Improved hardware and reduced cost
  • Creation of wonderful 3D contents
  • Early establishment of killer applications
  • Guaranteed safety
The aim of the Technology Sub-committee is to forge new 3D industries and to make them succeed and to set up businesses to do experiments.

Report on the actual activities of the Technology Sub-committee

Report on the current status of the working group's activities

The Consortium exists to coordinate the three areas of hardware, software and contents. Please participate positively and join forces to start up businesses.

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Announcement of Safety/guidelines sub-committee activities
Announcement of Safety/guidelines sub-committee activities
Mr. Chiba, head of Safety and Guidelines
Questions that customers are bound to ask when you are trying to do 3D business - Is it OK on the eyes?
  • Is it OK on the eyes?
  • Is it safe for children?
  • Will it be like the Pokemon case?
    The aim of the Safety/Guidelines sub-committee is how to deal with these kinds of questions.
According to the PL law of 1995, there is a great number of warnings in the instructions which has drawn attention to 3D cases.

Also, if you don't know the details of the "Pokemon case", you will not be able to answer customers' questions so you should start by studying about that. The JEITA Guidelines are a good text book for this.

Problems peculiar to 3D are how much protrusion and how much depression there should be. Mr. Nagata of NHK who has long studied this issue has been invited to give many lectures.

The issue for hardware and therefore the task for hardware manufacturers is to carry out studies into corresponding binocular parallax, convergence fusional stereoscopic limit and reduce cross-talk without limit, in other words to make it possible to easily see 3D images. On the other hand, for software there is the problem of how to make it.

Many things are likely to arise that we do not understand so we plan to invite experts to the seminars, who have been carrying out leading edge research, to dig deeper.

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Greeting by Head of Administration
"Future efforts of the 3D Consortium"
Mr. Taniguchi, 3D Consortium
Professor Ito of Tokyo University talked to us today about setting common goals to achieve a "win win" situation, while Chris Yewdall of DDD talked to us today about the members combining forces. From these points of view, I will explain with the use of the 2 panels shown here the basic concepts of the Consortium's 141 members and the concepts that we will go on to promote.

Creating and expanding the 3D market

The first panel refers to the basic concept. Professor Ito said that the 3D industry is insufficient just to raise the level of the technologies developed, and he set us the task of creating a new business model with a view to trends as a whole including market trends and infrastructure. The 3D Consortium's stance itself is the basic concept of using the know-how that all the members have and taking the 3 spirals of 3D related software, 3D related platforms or services and contents linked to them and making them turn in the positive direction.

The thinking is of system integration to include software, hardware and contents, the technologies to see, technologies to make and the platforms to express these. Given that it is possible to create and expand the 3D market, will it not also be possible to achieve the targets of the 3D Consortium namely of creating a 3 trillion yen industry in 5 years time. Firstly, we have to check that the 141 companies will work under this basic concept.

Professor Hirose of Tokyo University talked to us about the scalable VR project as part of the promotion of Virtual Reality. Earlier we saw at the bottom of the diagram of the panel, the make, see, view platform but basically, even if lots of different panels come out, the most important thing is to create an environment in which everyone can feel at ease and use a particular solution in common, rather than scalable or one contents multi use. Similar to the policy that the scalable project is aiming to achieve, I think it is important to combine the know-how of all involved and promote a solution to make contents and a viewer to see them or some solution in common to express this.

We cannot yet say one contents, multi use but I feel that we have already embarked upon the proposals from Mercury Sunday, InterScience and DDD and there is a common viewer that can be seen in common on a Sanyo Electrical display and Sharp display. Building up these kinds of links one by one to enlarge the 3D world is the thrill of the 3D Consortium's activities and this is one item to check.

Policies that the 3D Consortium is targeting (one example)

The second panel is the IT strategy of Kyoto prefecture that Professor Matsuyama mentioned earlier. Proposals as the 3D Consortium are required. This kind of thinking is not specific to Kyoto prefecture and it is being discussed as a promotion concept of the 3D Consortium but in the middle of the second diagram the members of the 3D Consortium can understand the flow of the 3D, broadband infrastructure or wireless environment, and similar kinds of trends exist both across the whole country and at prefectural level. I think domestic industry is being positively promoted. From this point of view, there are 4 axes.

One is activation of the region. The second is improving quality in the field of education. The third is training personnel. This is the aspect of activating industry including training of ventures, or creating a new culture in Japan. I think the 4 axes as well as the international aspect will become a key phrase. I believe we, the 3D Consortium, will become a bird's eye view to bring together the wisdom of everybody, whether regarding broadband, digital broadcasting networks, the wireless environment for mobiles. We have to look carefully at the infrastructure that is currently spreading and decide how to deal with the trends in the nation, the prefecture or those expected by the people.

It was introduced at the previous study session of the Consortium but the message that is being conveyed to the world is that the parts of the 3D business exist in the world like a jigsaw puzzle. These parts also exist for the 141 Japanese member companies and organisations and the work of the consortium is to bring those parts together. This is why we have called for the creation of a grand design for the Consortium. This diagram shows that if we apply the know-how that each member has, both the prefectures and the country will stick to the required axis and the industry of the whole country will be activated.

To give one example, if we can convert to 3D macro data from the sky that NTT Data or Topcon have or broadcast data or aerial photos as tourist information, we could provide a map as never before seen. Also we could express with 3D entering a museum or ancient remains or in the case of Kyoto, the temple of Sanjusangendo. If these things can be achieved, we will be able to allow foreigners visiting Kyoto to experience the deep culture of Japan.

At today's exhibition by members, actual examples were shown of the Mayan civilisation and British Museum and there have also been proposals for super-learning which link learning and 3D. Educational proposals regarding medicine are already progressing between Kyushu University and a Korean medical organisation but we would also like to raise distance medicine as a medium term theme.

The Consortium's activities are coming into the second bend of the race

If the know-how and technologies that all the members of the Consortium have is used, we believe the force of it will allow us to achieve the basic concept throughout the whole of Japan but some areas are still at research level and the level of information exchange. On the other hand, the Consortium is both encouraging computer graphics creators and training staff to make this a strong area for Japan.

As Mr. Katayama said at the beginning, the Consortium's activities are approaching the second bend and the members' are accumulating more and more practical results. For the next 6 months, we would like the help of all of you as we work towards the general meeting that is to be held on March 2nd next year. We hoped that when we made people aware of the diagram shown here, we would receive positive proposals from them saying that if it's a case of that kind of movement they have this kind of know-how etc. I hope we will be able to work together and adopt a broad approach.

Coincidentally, proposals are being made by the Consortium for Kyoto Prefecture but Kyoto Prefecture is also welcoming this kind of proposal. Future proposals will be more in-depth. I would like our goal for the time being to be a win-win relationship and to bury the key elements in this diagram one by one.

The proposals above were made by the office with a view to our targets but please feel free to make your own proposals. Thank you very much for giving up so much of your time today.

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Held at Sharp's Makuhari Building

After the joint press conference, attendees moved to a different room for the reception. There were about 80 people including lecturers and information was exchanged in a pleasant atmosphere. Mr. Masamichi Ono of Sony, one of the steering companies gave the greeting and Mr. T. Takaishi of NTT Data, also a steering company gave the toast.
Mr. Ono giving the greeting.
Mr. Takaishi, giving the toast.