Saturday, May 16, 2009

"HARDWARE: IMAX 3D Cameras Return to Space"

The recent Hubble Space Telescope repair mission lugged along a 3D camera
The astronauts operated the 3D IMAX cameras to record the five intricate and difficult spacewalks required to service Hubble. That IMAX footage will be combined with a slideshow of the Hubbles best photographs of distant galaxies, nebula and other celestial objects. The mission is supported by IMAX Corporation, NASA (National Aeronautics Space Administration) and Warner Bros.

The resulting film will add to IMAX's 3D compendium of space films and will debut in the Spring of 2010. The Hubble's gripping story, in 3D, will give audiences a front row seat in one of the world's most immersive cinematic experiences.

The IMAX team visited the Johnson Space Center and instructed the Atlantis crew on how to film a 3D movie. The Commander and Pilot will double as 3D cameramen for the two repair teams of spacewalking astronauts. Another 3D camera will be permanently mounted outside the cabin in the shuttle's cargo bay to capture images of the historic final servicing mission.

"This represents a very special moment in IMAX history in which IMAX 3D technology has been selected to document one of our nation's most anticipated technological events. The Hubble Space Telescope has benefited all of humanity with a close examination of our universe. Now we can transport audiences right there, all through the power of IMAX 3D. With this upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope will continue to provide us with many years of service and this film will continue to tell its story for years to come," said Richard L. Gelfond, CEO of IMAX Corporation in a prepared statement.

"Hubble 3D will allow moviegoers to get a front row seat to see these amazing other galaxies thanks to the power of this incredible telescope. Through our partnership with IMAX, we've taken audiences to the depths of the ocean and put them in the driver's seat in NASCAR. Hubble 3D will continue this great legacy of taking audiences to places they would otherwise never get to go and will continue to inspire both young and old alike," said Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures in a prepared statement.

"Hubble 3D will transport audiences to distant stars and beyond. It is one thing to look up at the heavens, but through this amazing project, audiences will be able to witness some of the most astonishing astronomical objects known to humankind, all from the comfort of an IMAX 3D theatre," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "We are thrilled to partner with Warner Bros. and NASA on this project and look forward to taking moviegoers to the outer edges of our universe through these extraordinary images in IMAX 3D."

Friday, May 1, 2009

"HARDWARE: InvenSense spins first pitch-and-yaw MEMS gyro"

Creating a new category of 3-D motion sensor is a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) chip invented at InvenSense--the brainchild of MEMS pioneer and company founder Steve Nasiri. By detecting the natural motions made by remote control users, including both those for TVs and other consumer devices like game consoles, the new MEMS chip from InvenSense is bound to be a winner. Nintendo has already designed in an InvenSense MEMS gyro for its forthcoming MotionPlayer controller for the Wii, but the newer motion sensor from the company will enable even more intuitive and agile controller. Look for widespread use of the new chip within a year, and watch for copy-cat annoucements even sooner as other MEMS chip makers rush to play catch-up ball.-R.C.J.
What is claimed as the world's first pitch-and-yaw MEMS gyroscope is said to be able to sense the two axes used by remote controls and baton-shaped game controllers like the Wii. The MEMS gyro chip developed by InvenSense Inc. will be used in the upcoming Wii MotionPlayer accessory. At least two chips, one mounted in-plane and one mounted vertically, are required to create a pitch-and-yaw sensor, but developer InvenSense said its ring-shaped mechanical beam enables a completely planar MEMS chip to sense both motions used in Wii-like controllers.