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Exhibition brings virtual underwater world to audiences

A computer system simulating an underwater environment will be featured at "Virtual Aquarium", a new exhibition of the Science News Corner at the Hong Kong Science Museum from today (December 17) until March 9, 2005.

Virtual Aquarium is constructed with a low-cost multi-screen stereoscopic projection system, and adopts a curve-pair based freeform modelling technique for simulating dolphin motion. Users wearing passive polarised eyeglasses will be able to observe stereoscopic images of dolphins or other sea creatures swimming. They can experience an underwater environment without getting into the water.

Conventional multi-screen virtual reality systems require the use of special hardware for synchronising the images on the screens. "Virtual Aquarium" uses a client/server approach for the synchronisation. The movements of the dolphins and other sea creatures can be adjusted by using a mouse, keyboard, or low-cost optical tracking techniques. This project and related information were provided by the Department of Automation and Computer-Aided Engineering of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The Science Museum is located at 2 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon. It is open from 1pm to 9pm from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 9pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays and from 10am to 5pm on Christmas Eve and Lunar New Year's Eve. It is closed on Thursdays (except public holidays) and the first two days of Lunar New Year. Admission is $25, with a half-price concession applicable to full-time students, people with disabilities and senior citizens aged 60 or above.

For more information, call 2732 3232 or visit the Science Museum's website at .

Ends/Friday, December 17, 2004
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