I ran across a fascinating video via New World Notes, that shows an alternate way of rendering 3D environments. The seven-minute video provides a fascinating (albeit hyperbole-filled) overview of the atom-based approach, called Unlimited Detail.
The driving force behind the project is Queensland, Australia-based Bruce Dell, working for an outfit called Euclideon (whose website is unavailable strangely).
Before I go on any further, you should have a look at the video yourself:
One more external pointer: Popsci covers the issue well, but it’s worth reading the comments on that article to pick up on some of the scepticism around about Unlimited Detail.
Of course, whether Unlimited Detail is a near reality or a pipe dream is partly a moot point: it still raises some interesting points for me on how enhancing the current approach to graphical detail is pivotal to the success of 3D environments in a range of areas, including my pet topic of clinical simulation. Until there’s the ability to replicate complex behaviours or procedures in a graphically realistic way, true simulation will remain problematic in these environments.
Let’s take even a ‘simple’ procedural simulation like inserting an endotracheal tube (ETT). The need for graphical reality is critical if any attempt is to be made to translate the practice to the physical world environment – the state of the ‘patient’, their position on the bed, the anatomical correctness of their trachea, the flexibility of the tube and so on. That;s why I’m encouraged by developments like Unlimited Detail.
Of course the real test is whether it sees the light of day in environments accessible to the general public.