Actuality Systems

Actuality Systems, discount viagra Inc. (1997 – 2009), buy viagra best known for Perspecta, a 100-million voxel volumetric display, was an early pioneer in:

Actuality Systems Perspecta display

Actuality Systems PerspectaRAD

High resolution volumetric 3-D display

Light field display, such as a 100-view autostereoscopic display with XGA resolution per view

Utilizing GPUs for data processing rather than traditional rendering-to-display

10-30k fps DMD/DLP image projection / storage / computation

Software systems for the execution, network transmission, and display of legacy and native 3-D applications on a variety of output devices in a “physics-agnostic” way

Pre-Actuality: 1988 – 1996

[[ image ]] Vector scanning. (1988-89) For a ninth-grade science fair, I experimented with a method to create an autostereoscopic volumetric display by swiftly moving the intersection point of two HeNe laser beams in a scattering medium (because the intersection is perceived to be slightly brighter). Built a single-plane proof of principle system that used an Amiga 500’s audio output ports to drive two surplus galvanometric mirror scanners in a water / milk solution.

Parallel raster scanning.
 (1995-96) As an undergraduate at Yale,  I invented and built a parallel raster-scanned volumetric display composed of a vertical stack of 32 laser diodes (harvested from penlights), a scanning polygonal mirror, and a vertically-oriented diffuse surface rotating at about 30 volumes per second. In 1996, Dept. Chair Mark Reed commissioned me to build a “permanent’ exhibit for a display case outside Davies Auditorium in Becton, which displayed a series of 32 x 32 x 32 voxel images from 1996 to roughly 2006! It is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 5,936,767.

Actuality Systems: 1997 – 2001

2000_64layout164^3 laser diode display. The business concept for what would become Actuality Systems won $10k in the 1997 MIT $50k Entrepreneurship Competition, initially borrowing my grandfather’s company’s name, Eastern Delta Corp. On the advice of our Chairman, we[1] built a local, higher-resolution version of my Yale project, occupying 250 cm^3 with 64 x 64 x 64 voxels at 20 Hz, for customer development and capital raises. The goal? To build a multi-million-voxel display based on the “generescope” architecture patented by M. Hirsch in 1961 (U.S. Pat. No. 2,967,905), which enabled the imagery of a projection display to remain in focus regardless of instantaneous screen angle.

Actuality Systems: 2001+

Actuality DNA 4 23MAR01198 x 768 x 768 volumetric display. (March, 2001) First prototype of what would become Perspecta: a 3-chip XGA-resolution DMD / DLP light engine generated a 198-slice, 768 x 768 volumetric image refreshed at  20 Hz by projecting imagery at 4 kHz onto a vertical diffuser spinning at 600 rpm. This was the result of many classic startup late-nighters, raw invention, and very close teamwork[2]. See papers [a] and [b] regarding this first system, which relied on a TI DSP for rasterization rather than a GPU.

Application Grid PerpsectaGPU volumetric rendering, advanced application and networking layer. As the team grew – with inventive individuals in computer science, electronics, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing (not to mention sales and marketing!) – Actuality renamed the product Perspecta, and endowed it with GPU-based rendering, a physics-agnostic “O/S,” and the ability to run OpenGL applications. See paper [c] for some details on the firm’s accomplishments ca. 2005.


PerspectaRAD mouse PhantomImproved rendering, interoperability with external-beam radiation oncology software Year after year, the quality of the projected volumetric imagery improved.




[[ image ]] Occlusion. (April, 2004) Volumetric displays – or are they swept-surface multiview displays – are indeed able to depict viewer position dependent effects such as occlusion. This overturned the prevailing wisdom of the time, thanks in large part to the inventive thinking of Oliver Cossairt. See paper [d].

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// placeholder: “radiation conditioning system” (decomposition of electro-hologram into a physical set of basis gratings and a high resolution 2-D illuminator

vibrating_lenticular_2005-5Breaking the performance limitations of autostereoscopic displays. The team solved a longstanding problem of flat-screen autostereo: how to create a projected image that has high spatial resolution (pixels seen per eye) and high angular resolution (number of “views”). They realized that lenticular arrays could be used in a nontraditional manner, by sandwiching them close together, holding one still, and placing the other in oscillatory translational motion while a high frame rate projector illuminated the sandwich in synchrony to the oscillations. Learn more in U.S. Pat. No. 7,864,419 and U.S. Pat. No. 8,675,125.

Photo Gallery

Here is a selection of photographs from Actuality’s history.

[1] Gregg Favalora, Michael Giovinco, and Shawn Samuel
[2] For the first multi-megavoxel display in March, 2001, I will be forever grateful to (in alphabetical order): Jane Bareau, William “Bill” V. Baxter III, Rick Dorval, Michael Giovinco, Deirdre Hall, Joshua Napoli, David Oliver, Michael Richmond, Robert Southard, and Michael Thomas,