NOVEMBER 5--The simFUSION PC-based image generator from Evans & Sutherland Computer Corp. (E&S; Salt Lake City, UT; www.es.com) has been chosen to support laboratory research at a Harvard Medical School-affiliated institute. The Schepens Eye Research Institute will use simFUSION to evaluate the effectiveness of low-vision aids being developed to help patients with impaired vision.
Senior scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute and associate professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School Harvard Dr. Eli Peli, operating under a grant from the US National Eye Institute, is using simFUSION's image-generation capabilities to help create a virtual mall environment. Patients wearing the institute's vision aids will walk on a treadmill in front of a large screen displaying imagery generated by simFUSION, creating the impression of walking through a mall. As the patients move through the "mall," researchers can safely challenge their vision by putting obstacles in their paths and recording whether the patients see the obstacles. Because patients are immersed in a simulated environment, the researchers can evaluate the effectiveness of the vision aids with no hazard to the patients, something that would be impossible in a real-world environment.
"simFUSION brings some new advantages to our research efforts," said Dr. Peli,. "Using this technique, we will now be able to verify the effectiveness of our visual aids to our patients in a controlled laboratory environment. In addition, we can use our virtual mall to help us evaluate how well our patients have learned to use the aids."
Key features of simFUSION include high-performance stereo at 1280 x 1024 pixels at 120 Hz for standard and specialized viewing devices and displays; geometry correction, to optimize displays on curved screens and domes; gigapixel fill rates with full-screen antialiasing; support for the latest research and virtual-reality tools, and applications using either a Windows or Linux-based operating system.