Researchers from Torino Polytechnic in
Italy have developed a distributed processing scheme that allows users
to find and display complex three-dimensional models on hand-held computers.
The scheme offloads the compute-heavy modeling and graphics processing
required by three-dimensional models to specialized network graphics servers.
This type of processing is far beyond the relatively low compute power
of mobile devices like hand-held computers.
The system could make it more practical to remotely display high-quality
complex three-dimensional models like medical images and computer-aided
design models. The scheme can also be used in collaborative work to allow
several people to share the same model remotely, according to the researchers.
The researchers' scheme works within a highly structured network
that manages both searching for a model and rendering the three-dimensional
image. Any client device with Web access can use the system, which consists
of gateway nodes that communicate with the hand-held computers; broker
nodes that coordinate queries, data and rendering; and provider nodes
that handle the graphics processing. The scheme is based on the JXTA peer-to-peer
The researchers are working to improve the system by changing
the flow of data from static images to an MPEG stream, which allows for
more interactivity, higher frame rates, and larger pictures.
A practical system could be developed immediately, according to
the researchers. The work appeared in the February 7, 2004 issue of the
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies.
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