MULTIWORKS - 2713
Keywords multimedia workstations
Start Date: 09-NOV-90 / Duration: 24 months
[ contact / participants ]
Objectives and Approach
The goal of MULTIWORKS (which continues the work begun in project 2105) is to develop an office workstation that manipulates video, graphics, text, voice and sound with facilities comparable to those available today for traditional text and graphics media.
Progress and Results
Two system configurations are provided: a high-cost authoring workstation, MIW, and a low-cost delivery system, MIW-L. MIW is based on industry-standard open 32-bit architecture with intelligent controllers to manage multimedia devices. The first example of MIW is the CP486 work station available from Olivetti. It is expected that other partners of MULTIWORKS will develop different versions of it with compatible architectures. MIW-L is built around a highly integrated low-cost workstation based on the ARM RISC processor developed by Acorn (UK). Both versions will be able to support the same operating software and applications. MULTIWORKS provides:
- a peripheral subsystem of intelligent controllers that manage the new multimedia devices
- enhanced user interfaces, including new interaction devices such as voice input and electronic paper
- Unix operating system enhanced with real-time features to handle multimedia
- a consistent object-oriented programming environment for the development of traditional applications that use the new media
- a set of authoring tools based on hypertext and expert systems.
The partners have identified six areas that could generate products:
- A specific product strategy for office applications is likely to be drawn up by each partner.
- Basic Hardware Components:
- Basic hardware components, identified in the 486-based standard platform and in the low-end RISC-based machine, plus integrated VLSI circuits for peripherals, communication and mass storage controllers, could be manufactured and used with the agreement of one or more of the hardware supplier partners.
- Hardware Add-Ons:
- This will be managed by individual partners according to their specific involvement. However, particular deals could be established between the partners to integrate the add-on features in their standard products, a process made easier by the common choice of architecture and standard interfaces.
- Operating System:
- Compatibility with a widely used standard like Unix will contribute to building up an extended interchangeable number of advanced applications.
- Knowledge-Engineering Tools:
- The intention is for the small software companies involved to come to a marketing arrangement with the larger participants.
- Hypermedia and Multitalk:
- The goal is to impose an industry standard that gains international acceptance.
Ing G. Ciardiello
OLIVETTI SYSTEMS & NETWORKS
Via Jervis 77
I - 10015 IVREA
tel: + 39/125-521461
fax: + 39/ 125-422077
OLIVETTI SYSTEMS & NETWORKS - I - C
AEG ELEKTROKOM - D - P
BULL SA - F - P
PHILIPS CONSUMER ELECTRONICS - NL - P
ACORN COMPUTERS - UK - A
BNR EUROPE LTD - UK - A
PHILIPS COMPONENTS - NL - A
TRIUMPH-ADLER - D - A
VIDEOLOGIC - UK - A
CHORUS SYSTEMES - F - A
HARLEQUIN LTD - UK - A
MULTIWORKS - 2713, December 1993
please address enquiries to the ESPRIT Information Desk
html version of synopsis by Nick Cook