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Professional applications on ATM-APAT (APAT)

APAT is a set of advanced applications which exploit ATM high bandwidth networks to distribute video, audio and graphics. The two pilot APAT applications illustrate both the potential of such networks for distributed applications and the specific capabilities of different communications technologies. They focus specifically on accessing to remote resources, collaborating with remote teams and sharing data, pictures, video and audio. The first application concerns the efficiency of distributed multimedia and co-operative working in a research environment. This tool makes it possible for users of a very complex simulation software to have multimedia training or distant expertise within to the working environment. The second was developed in an industry with a highly competitive market: tyres and cables. It deals with concurrent engineering of tyres and cables over ATM networks (LANs and WANs). Design teams in Italy and Germany share their CAD sessions through video-conferencing and users can access common multimedia training tools, help desk and design data bases. APAT solutions significantly reduce the time and effort needed for the design and engineering of a new product.

The first pilot application is a multimedia demonstrator for complex simulations. It gives both novice and experienced users a pedagogic environment using new communication technologies, advanced interactive graphics and easy access to all the multimedia documentation which is relevant to the simulation code, the process or the physics to be modelled. Four main tools are provided: a multimedia interactive and post-processing training software, a multimedia documentation database, a help desk (including a Frequently Asked Questions facility) and a co-operative multimedia working environment. The second application concerns co-operative and concurrent design using a high speed network in an industrial context. This took account not only of the technological impact but also the organisational aspect. It involved ATM deployment, the implementation and exploitation of a multimedia library, customisation of the APAT co-operative environment and the evaluation and improvement of the effectiveness of the co-operative and concurrent environment.

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