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High Performance Virtual Reality Distributed Electronic Commerce: Application for the Furniture and Ceramics Industries

Objective

This project aims at developing a high performance image rendering system to be integrated in e-commerce applications. In particular, it addresses the furniture and ceramics sectors in which a pre-visualisation of the product in the final location can help in decision making. The idea is to generate in a short period of time high quality synthetic images of a scene containing the products to be sold. The system focuses on industries that have an exhibition showing only a small set of the goods they offer, but manage large catalogues which are also shown to customers. Furniture and ceramic industries are examples of these. Large exhibition areas are very expensive to set up and only satisfy a small number of customers. With a fast photo-realistic rendering tool, customers could have the possibility to easily compare different alternatives thus helping them make a buying decision. This project aims at developing a high performance image rendering system to be integrated in e-commerce applications. In particular, it addresses the furniture and ceramics sectors in which a pre-visualisation of the product in the final location can help in decision making. The idea is to generate in a short period of time high quality synthetic images of a scene containing the products to be sold. The system focuses on industries that have an exhibition showing only a small set of the goods they offer, but manage large catalogues which are also shown to customers. Furniture and ceramic industries are examples of these. Large exhibition areas are very expensive to set up and only satisfy a small number of customers. With a fast photo-realistic rendering tool, customers could have the possibility to easily compare different alternatives thus helping them make a buying decision.

OBJECTIVES
- To choose a suitable global illumination algorithm for photo-realistic rendering;
- To develop a parallel rendering software kernel which will run on a low-cost PC cluster and to integrate it in the system;
- To develop two prototype virtual stores based on the Net. Commerce system, one per industrial sector. These demonstrators will be used for dissemination of the results in the proper industrial forums and should be close to a real solution;
- To integrate Keops and Keramix (tools for room design and visualisation) functionality in the e-commerce application;
- To couple all the software components by means of a low level middleware framework such as CORBA;
- To integrate the different hardware platforms participating in the solution (computing cluster, web server and database server).

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
A system will be developed for high performance image rendering to be integrated in e-commerce applications. In a short period of time (few minutes), the system must generate synthetic images of a scene containing the products to be sold. The layout of the scene has been designed by the end user. The images must be photo-realistic. It is very important to chose an illumination algorithm which strikes a balance between the quality of the images and the rendering time. In order to increase the computing power, the algorithm will be parallelised and the system will make use of a dedicated PC cluster located at the vendor headquarters. The interface with this computing service will be via Internet and it will be integrated in a fully featured e-commerce application. For demonstration purposes, two complete virtual stores will be developed, one for furniture and the other for ceramics. This demonstrators will have all the typical features present in this applications, such as the shopping cart, the browsable catalogue and so on. The novel feature of these systems will be the possibility to render a scene containing the products. The design of the scene will be done via a user interface which will inherit most of the features of Keops and Keramix, two commercial packages oriented to furniture and ceramics sectors respectively. This systems have several advantages: they are very easy to use and models of individual catalogue components are imported from standard file formats such as DXF, thus enabling the vendors to build their catalogues without external intervention. At a source code level, part of the functionality has to be integrated in the Internet browser as a plug-in and other part has to be included in the server side. Also all the different components have to be integrated.

Funding Scheme

BUR - Bursaries, grants, fellowships

Coordinator

UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE VALENCIA
Address
Camino De Vera S/n
46022 Valencia
Spain

Participants (4)

CERAMICA ESPANOLA DE REVESTIMIENTOS, S.A.
Spain
Address
Avenida Manuel Escobedo 28
12200 Onda + Castellon
INGEGRAFIC
Spain
Address
Grabador Esteve 12-4
46004 Valencia
INGENIERIA DE SOFTWARE AVANZADO, S.A.
Spain
Address
Avenida De Aragon 30-13J
46021 Valencia
M.R. FABRICACION, S.A.
Spain
Address
Cn. El Palmeral, S/n
46291 Benimodo (Valencia)