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A feature interactive experience first presented for the Emerging Technologies venue at Siggraph 2000,
in New Orleans, 23-28 July 2000.
InTheMix created many technical challenges that had to be overcome.  Several technologies that had never previously been integrated were brought together seemlessly. 
Each node of InTheMix is split across three computers in a client/server configuration.  The first computer maintains the InTheMix client application, a custom application that monitors the tracking instrument, controls the aural simulation, and triggers audio events.  The second computer is an AuSIM GoldServetm system running the AuSIM3D® audio simulation service.  The third computer is also an AuSIM GoldServer™ system, but running NCSA's Vanilla Sound Server (VSS), which synthesizes sound via parametric algorithms.  Digital audio is piped from the synthesis server to the rendering server over a fiber-optic "light-pipe" using Sonorus' StudI/O digital audio interface.  The client and servers communicate via low-latency serial packets, either USB or RS-232.  Inter-node (client to client) communication is also serial.

All computers in the InTheMix project are Intel-based systems running the Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional™ operating system, specially tuned for real-time operation.

All audio streams to and from the AuSIM server are fully digital.  Analog conversion is completed in an external unit, utilizing 24-bit conversion, isolated from the digital noise. 

The headsets integrate a tracking sensor with circumaural, closed headphones and a noise-canceling boom microphone.  The headsets are designed and manufactured by AuSIM from the highest-quality German-made Sennheiser components.  Circumaural headphones surround the ear's pinnae (ear-lobe) providing more consistent centering for more consistent auditory localization.  The closed headphones occlude the physical world by attenuating ambient noise by 15-18 decibels.  A headset control, specially-designed and manufactured by AuSIM, optimizes the dynamic range for localized audio and interfaces the microphone and headphones to the digital converters.  All analog signals are protected from noise with professional, balanced interconnects.

Position-tracking is controlled via AuSIM's low-latency AuTrak™ tracker interface software library.  AuTrak™ supports all tracking instruments from Polhemus, Ascension, InterSense, Logitech, and Fakespace, as well as several others.  The specific tracking system depends on installation-specific parameters.

Interaction Content Innovation History Technical Team
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