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Recent News
by Rick Smith (September 1994)

Sun Micro Systems has introduced one of the lowest cost workstations which features 24 bit graphics.

Several manufacturers have announced scaleable video playback decompression chips or boards. They are AuraVision, IBM, VideoLogic, Sigma Designs, NEC and SAT Technologies.

VGraph, Inc. has announced a new object-oriented authoring tool O-Zone which allows visual assembly of application scripts.

Texas Instruments, Ergo and IBM have announced notebook and laptop systems with powerful multimedia features.

Phillips Media is rumored to be in the process of constructing a Multimedia Pavilion at the site of Woodstock '94 to showcase their CD interactive technology.

Adobe and Aldus appear to be closer to their merger even after the delays for negotiations with the federal government.

Apple Computer
Apple's new suite of Macintosh multimedia systems will make it easier and more affordable to create multimedia projects. They will be offering NTSC video-out and MPEG playback for the 630 series in the fall.

Apple's QuickTime technology has been specified as a key software component for set-top boxes in Bell Atlantic's recently announced Full Services Network.

3D sound
SRS Labs, Inc. has licensed their technology to Jazz, Inc. to incorporate their 3D sound technology into a new line of speakers. Six Graph Computing demonstrated its new VSound 3D audio board based on the QSound technology. Desper Products, Inc. has announced a license agreement with Multiwave for using Desper's 3D surround technology.

Interactive Violence
Sierra is installing a new ratings option for both family and adult audiences in response to protests against violence presented to children.

Multimedia Muppets
Jim Henson Productions and Starwave Corporation have announced that they will create a CD-ROM to enable families and children to interact with their favorite Muppet characters including Kermit and Miss Piggy, while learning and having fun. Availability in 1995.

Interactive Country
At the new County Star restaurants started by Reba McIntyre, Wynona Judd and other country artists are to have interactive kiosks. Country artists will personally narrate the description of various pieces of Country Music memorabilia on display.

IBM announced they used a high performance UNIX-based parallel computer at the VR Cave during the recent SIGGRAPH International Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques held in Orlando, Florida.

At the show, Autodesk announced new releases of two of their products. The Cyberspace Developer Kit Release 2, is a major upgrade of their 3D visualization and simulation toolset. It consists of a set of C++ class libraries with 32 bit Windows support, improved texture mapping, sound card support and Virtual Reality peripheral support.

3D Studio Release 4, is a major upgrade to their 3D modeling, rendering and animation software package. This new release includes easier animation of linked objects, a keyframe scripting language and a fast preview renderer. The tight integration and synergy of these two updated packages will assist developers to deliver powerful Virtual Reality technology to the PC desktop. Both packages will ship third quarter 1994.

Enterprise Computing / Windows World Chicago
At the Enterprise Computing Solutions Exposition and Conference recently held in Chicago, there were several excellent multimedia related seminars such as the Exploring the Internet, Multimedia Production, Optimizing Multimedia, Authoring Tools and Desktop Video Production. Multimedia technology continues to become much more pervasive in corporate America.

Microsoft's Daytona (NT) was discussed during the reseller seminar at the show. The Beta version will be available shortly. It offers some powerful features and there are some powerful RISC systems waiting for it. Chicago (Windows 4) appears to keep adding features such as speech compression and looks to be ready in April 1995.

Copyright 1994 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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