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Report of the European meeting of the 3D Consortium
June 26th, 2003
Report by Mr. Y. Yamamoto, Sharp
Date and time:
June 24th-25th (Tues. & Wed.)
International Conference Centre, European Commission, Luxembourg
Part 1:
Introductory presentation at the International Virtual Reality Conference
Part 2:
Explanatory meeting sponsored by the consortium
There was an exhibition of demos(DDD,SANYO,Sharp,VRex,etc.).
The attendees at both parts were as expected and they were able to understand the explanations of the thinking with regard to the 3D market itself and the policies of the Consortium regarding its activities. Some 20 groups expressed their intention to join in the future. We need to follow up on them until we receive their application forms and I hope to continue this trend to SIGGRAPH in the US, which is due to be held at the end of July. As far as the indicators of activities in Europe are concerned, because activities other than technology seminars give local colour, approval was largely obtained. From now on, involving large local corporations that can lead this kind of activity will become an urgent issue.

The presentation by Dr.Ian Thompson
Part 1: Presentation
A presentation was given outlining the 3D Consortium at the Virtual Reality World Conference funded by the EU. (The explanation was given by Ian Thompson, Sharp Laboratories of Europe, who is the liaison for activities in Europe.)

About 120 people attended the presentation including the attendees from the day before and people interested in the 3D Consortium. The introduction explained what kind of benefits 3D can bring to what kinds of industries and application and real examples were given. (Education, advertising, games, simulations, art, amusements, CAD, broadcasting, filming if personal video, fashion etc.) It was explained that the jigsaw puzzle pieces needed to start up the various markets as businesses are scattered about and we will end up still not knowing where each piece belongs, so first of all we need to put all the pieces in one place. This is the first important mission of the 3D Consortium. This conference was intended for companies and educational groups doing research and business literally related to Virtual Reality, and expectations and interest in 3D are overall high. It was extremely beneficial to be able to tell such an audience of the benefits of the 3D Consortium.

The lecture by Dr. Nick Holliman
Part 2: Explanation
Attendees: 60 people (More or less the same people who attended part 1)
After the greeting by Mr. Ian Thompson, there was a lecture on the thinking behind 3D and the content of what is expected of the Consortium. The summary is as follows.

(1) Dr. Nick Holliman, Durham University

After mentioning the basic principles and history of autostereoscopy, he gave a presentation on the current state of research including commercial application. An actual case study has been implemented at Durham University over the last two months which uses 3D displays in business by cleverly using the Web. (For example, advertising pages are converted to 3D etc.)

The 3D Consortium will become a foothold for setting up the 3D market in earnest which in the past has not really got going. They have set up an environment for making contents such as CG, depth mapping, digital photos and an environment (tools) which synthesizes in 3D, so standardization is expected in areas such as
  • Display Descriptors,
  • Production formats,
  • Distribution formats,
  • Electrical interface,
They also want to achieve
  • Display independence
  • Common language for consumers
3D Consortium is expected to play a very important role in linking industry and universities. It is also expected to become a route into work for students.

Click here (Related data are here.) [Adobe PDF file (zip)]

(2) Lars Fricke of GTA-GEOINFORMATIK
(Large Scale Virtual ,R,c City Model software company)

Given the preconceptions about 3D (expensive, data too heavy) and facts such as hardware and software not being commonly used, the feeling is that it has not really infiltrated the market. We hope that such preconceptions will disappear as a wide community involving manufacturers and users is formed by the Consortium.

Click here (Related data are here.) [Microsoft power point pps file (zip)]

(3) Sadeg Faris of VRex Ltd

He gave a lecture with the main point that the transition from 2D to 3D is a natural transition (unavoidable). The progression from black and white to colour to 3D is a natural progression for humans as we see things with two eyes. The hope is that the Consortium will accelerate this progression. H/W, Application S/W and Great Contents as a trinity will reach the general consumer for the first time. 3D is a technology needed by 6 billion people in the world and a future market of some $1 Trillion is expected.

The conditions that will be the key to success are:
  • High Quality
  • Affordability for the masses
  • Compatibility with existing platform
  • General purpose
It is expected that the Consortium will become the driving force for business not some time in the future but now as the ground work has already been done.

Click here (Related data are here.) [Microsoft power point ppt file (zip)]

Next, there was an explanation of the system and activities of the Consortium. He explained about the membership fee. There is only half a year left of this year but because it is a small amount and is just an administrative fee, the Consortium would prefer it to be paid in full and not as monthly installments.

He explained that the technology seminars mean that discussions are going on in various places and so cannot be collected together so we have to focus activities on Japan at present but each seminar on service contents and safety guidelines takes into onsideration the marketability and demands per region so the hope is that activities will bring originality. There was general agreement.

There were also views that Europe should lead Japan and the US as regards art galleries and museums and there was also a view that Europe should be putting effort into entertainment as a cultural aspect.

There were also comments that we have to identify the fact that 3D is not widespread and cautiously reflect on this in order to progress to the next step.

Finally, when we asked whether people intended to join the Consortium, some 20-25 people raised their hands. (We have already sent details of the regulations and principles of ownership to participants and application forms.)

The exhibitions by the 3D Consortium included
  • Dynamic Digital Depth, Corp.,
  • Sanyo Electrical's 22" LCD,
  • Sharp's notebook PC
    15" LCD monitor and SH505i mobile phone.
There were also exhibitions as the Virtual Reality World Conference by
  • Vrex Corp. (LCD monitor made by Arisawa Manufacturing)
  • 4D Vision (3D LCD with head tracking)
  • See Real (Corp.) (3D LCD with head tracking)
  • GTA-GEO (City Modeling Software)
  • Prairie Logic's head mount display
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