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SPECIAL FEATURE Interactive Computer Graphics: Poised for Takeoff?

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131224D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-10
Document File: 17 page(s) / 79K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Ware Myers: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

After 15 years of development, much promise, but limited use, is interactive computer graphics finally due for a sharp growth spurt? If the mood projected at the Fourth Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques held in San Jose recently is any indication, the answer would seem to be yes. On the hardware side, costs are coming down and capability is going up, reflecting trends that have characterized the computer industry in recent years. On the software side, although programming for computer-aided design tends to be specialized and hence not broadly available, many standardized display packages are on the market.' In applications, there is activity in more than 25 areas, ranging from stereotaxic surgery to landfills after strip mining.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1978 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

SPECIAL FEATURE Interactive Computer Graphics: Poised for Takeoff?

Ware Myers

Contributing Editor

Ware Myers Contributing Editor

Introduction

After 15 years of development, much promise, but limited use, is interactive computer graphics finally due for a sharp growth spurt? If the mood projected at the Fourth Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques held in San Jose recently is any indication, the answer would seem to be yes. On the hardware side, costs are coming down and capability is going up, reflecting trends that have characterized the computer industry in recent years. On the software side, although programming for computer-aided design tends to be specialized and hence not broadly available, many standardized display packages are on the market.' In applications, there is activity in more than 25 areas, ranging from stereotaxic surgery to landfills after strip mining.

The driving force behind computer graphics is the information explosion: interactive computer graphics permits the vast quantities and complex interrelations of information to be organized and manipulated in a way that exploits the unique human ability to work with patterns.

1

A better way

Even in first-generation computers, users were overwhelmed by stacks of printout. Combining the computer with a cathode-ray tube to generate lines, curves, and surfaces that could represent the data promised a better way of transmitting information across that last critical inch or so inside the human head. Then the addition of human-operated input devices resulted in interactive computer graphics.2,3

Trends.

Rapidly falling hardware costs, as exemplified by the microprocessor and the 16K RAM, are affecting graphic systems, as they are other parts of the computer world. More "intelligence" is being placed at the graphic display, taking some of the processing load off the host computer. Another trend -- proclaimed by some but denied by others -- is toward raster-scan CRT displays. Made feasible by lower-cost memories, the raster- scan technique enables graphics users to benefit from the mass-production cost level of the television industry. Costs are even declining enough to permit the computer hobbyist to experiment with simple displays, such as interactive games and checkerboard-type art patterns.

1 * Dice courtesy of Kevin Weller and Peter Atherton, Program of Computer Graphics, Cornell University. Reprinted from Computer Graphics, Proc. 4th Annual Conf. on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques. © 1977 by the Association f...