Actuality Systems wins patent approval for key technology

NOVEMBER 13--Actuality Systems Inc. (Burlington, MA), a leader in spatial 3-D visualization technology, has received four notices of allowance on several key patents involving its spatial visualization technology.

NOVEMBER 13--Actuality Systems Inc. (Burlington, MA), a leader in spatial 3-D visualization technology, has received four notices of allowance on several key patents involving its spatial visualization technology. Three of the notices are from the US Patent Office and a fourth is from the Republic of Taiwan.

The notices state that the US Patent Office will allow Actuality's patent claims for "rasterization of lines in a cylindrical voxel grid," "volumetric 3-D display architecture," and "volumetric stroboscopic display." The Taiwanese patent covers a "volumetric 3-D display system." The patents are related to the company's basic research in rendering and projecting spatial 3-D images and its development work for its Perspecta 3-D visualization system.

The patent allowance for "rasterization of lines in a cylindrical voxel grid" establishes an efficient graphic algorithm for how to draw straight lines in multidimensional space such as Actuality's Perspecta 3-D display. The "volumetric 3-D display architecture" patent covers the invention of a spinning-screen 3-D display with a unique projection screen that can steer light in different directions, creating photorealistic imagery that appears solid. Says Favalora, "This may be the first instance in which a swept-screen display can create viewer-position-dependent effects such as hidden back surfaces. It will enhance our ability to render a broad spectrum of medical images."

Typical applications for the Perspecta system include nuclear medical imaging, such as using PET scans to locate tumors; medical intervention, such as planning radiation therapy; mammography and biopsy, such as having 3-D feedback on the precise location of a biopsy needle; drug discovery; air-traffic control; game development; security specialists seeking a faster and more reliable way to visualize the contents of freight or passenger luggage, and numerous others.

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