Start-up creates futuristic 3D display

Thanks Grappa for this. The ideal computer display of today may be flat, but a start-up called Actuality Systems has gazed into the future, and what it has seen looks more like a crystal ball.

The Burlington, Mass., company, founded in 1997, has been perfecting a type of 3D display with a basketball-size glass dome that connects to an ordinary workstation to display 3D models and animations.

On Tuesday the company announced its first customer, the Adelphi, Md.-based U.S. Army Research Laboratory, which carries out research for the Army, the Department of Defense, NASA and other government bodies.

Actuality's Perspecta display costs $40,000 and up, but the company says costs could drop so that the device would be affordable for ordinary consumers and gamers.

"Component costs will decrease," said Gregg Favalora, Actuality's chief technology officer and a co-founder. "There could be a desktop unit in the future."

The display sold to the Army lab is mounted on a stabilized rolling platform, which bears the display and an IBM workstation along with a retractable keyboard, joystick and flat-panel display. The display has its own built-in Spatial Rendering Kernel, which is designed around open standards such as Open GL. This allows it to interact with mainstream applications running on Windows or Linux software.

Favalora would not comment on the applications the Army lab would use the display for, but the company said the display would be evaluated for command-and-control and field operations.

News source: ZDNet News - Start-up creates futuristic 3D display

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