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Examples of Multimedia Systems

Major Areas of use for Multimedia Products.

Multimedia is used in many areas in society, three key areas of its use are:-

Education and Training
Leisure and Entertainment
Virtual Reality and Simulations
Combined Areas: - Educational games, Training simulations
Multimedia is used to provide information in an interesting and interactive manner, using a variety
of media. Multimedia is widely used in information services, providing the viewer an effective
presentation of information. Typically the use of multimedia presentations to present information
allows the user to navigate simply through basic information.
Information on demand:An Information Kiosk can be used anywhere to provide information to users where no human
assistants can be available. For example at Tourist centres, like the powerhouse which has placed
computers with multimedia presentations at the entrance to the museum. Visors can use this
information to decide upon which displays they might like to view and how to get to the correct
Some buildings in Sydneys CBD are utilising touch screen multimedia presentations in the foyer to
provide guests to the building a directory of companies in the building. These multimedia
presentations usually incorporate text, hypertext, icons, graphics and occasionally sound/video.
Business advertising and marketing can use a kiosk browser, that presents multimedia on certain
topics to, for instance to distribute samples of products to customers via free CDROMs.
Presentations can be quickly produced to give a lecture or seminar in an interesting manner. A
demonstration of a product could be made via a multimedia presentation.
Gambling, banking, and sales are all growth areas in using multimedia presentation to attract
more customers via a more user friendly, interactive presentation of the information.
Review these:The JFK CDROM

Education and Training

Education is a large growth area of the use of multimedia presentations. The are used to allow the
learner to participate in a total learning environment, utilising all media. Widely used in education,
at home, in schools, universities, libraries, museums, computer based training, remote distance
learning and performance support.
A well designed presentation will keep the learners attention via an interesting use of
the available media, the biggest attraction is that the presentation is interactive, the
learner can read, understand and choose topics all at their own pace.

It provides a cost effective mechanism to train staff, where they can run through work practice and
procedures at their own pace. There are many tutorials available with screen shots, picture, sound,
and video all combining to train people in all manner of tasks.
The benefits of multimedia education are: Consistency and adaptability
Self paced and self directed learning
Increases retention rates
Customisation of student programs
One on one tuition
Cost saving
Can be taught by an expert in that field e.g a specialist doctor in USA creating a
CDROM for university medical students in Sydney

Leisure and Entertainment

Multimedia systems such as computer games and other leisure activities.
The leisureand entertainment area is incredibly fast growing, with huge profits for the leading
companies of computer games. Multimedia games provide video clips, animation , integrated
sound and advanced 3D graphics that replicate real situations or fantasy with a great deal or
realism and excitement. Computer games provide a high level of interactivity.
The users of these entertainment presentations traditionally use a joystick, mouse or trackball to
interact with the game. The large memory requirements of these presentations stems from the
large amount or graphics and video. With little text being desired by the users. This demand of
memory has seen the heavy use of CDROMs to distribute the games. A computer also does need a
good deal of Ram, with a graphics card, sound card etc to take full advantage of the multimedia.
There is a huge range of online interactive games available, some created in new software
programs such as Shockwave, Java, and Flash. Take a look at:

Virtual Reality and Simulations

An artificial environment created with computer hardware and software and presented to the user
in such a way that it appears and feels like a real environment. To "enter" a virtual reality, a user
dons special gloves, earphones, and goggles, all of which receive their input from the computer
system. In this way, at least three of the five senses are controlled by the computer. In addition to
feeding sensory input to the user, the devices also monitor the user's actions. The goggles, for
example, track how the eyes move and respond accordingly by sending new video input.
Virtual reality (VR) can be used to create an illusion of reality or imagined reality and is used both
for entertainment and training. Flight simulators for training airplane pilots and astronauts were
the first form of this technology, which provided a very realistic and very expensive simulation.
Virtual reality has other variants. Spatially immersive displays use multi-sided rooms that you walk
into, and an "immersive theater" or "immersive wall" uses a large flat or curved screen (8-24' long)
that completely fills your peripheral vision. Desktop virtual reality (desktop VR) uses a personal
computer to play games and view environments that you move around in, although they lack the
3-D reality of true VR systems.

The term simulation means to create an experience that is like e real world experience. Such as
flying a plane etc.
Simulation is the process of imitating a real phenomenon with a set of mathematical formulas.
Advanced computer programs can simulate weather conditions, chemical reactions, atomic
reactions, even biological processes. In theory, any phenomena that can be reduced to
mathematical data and equations can be simulated on a computer. In practice, however,
simulation is extremely difficult because most natural phenomena are subject to an almost infinite
number of influences. One of the tricks to developing useful simulations, therefore, is to determine
which are the most important factors.
In addition to imitating processes to see how they behave under different conditions, simulations
are also used to test new theories. After creating a theory of causal relationships, the theorist can
codify the relationships in the form of a computer program. If the program then behaves in the
same way as the real process, there is a good chance that the proposed relationships are correct. (Names itself an Information Kiosk and offers
virtual tours of Ottawa) (How to train pilots) Virtual museum

Combined Areas: - Educational games, Training simulations

Where does the range of childrens games fit in? Such as learning the alphabet in a multimedia
presentation, that the child views as entertainment but in reality has the advantage of educating
as well. The name EDUTAINMENT is creeping into the computing industry to describe these
presentations. The arguments for either category are really just as strong. (Cross education/games.) Or training for pilots using a
simulated experience.

Advances in Technology
Multimedia places huge demands on computer systems, to process, store, manipulate and display
text, graphics, sounds, animations and videos. There are always new technologies that will
increase the speed of the computer CPU (Central Processing Unit), Storage devices CDROM, DVD,
Transmission Media For the Internet Satellite, ADSL, Microwave, Cable Modems. All advances
will improve the quality of Multimedia Production, as well as their ease of access, increase
transmission speeds, and so increase demand for Multimedia Systems.
Advances in technology which are influencing multimedia development such as:

World Wide Web and communication speed and capacity

As the internet grows more and more demands are on new interactive technologies that require
more storage space. The larger the files the slower the download time. The demand for new
methods that are faster and offer better quality always grow. New Methods to increase speed at
the moment are:Satellite, Cable modem, ADSL lines, Microwave, ISDN lines

CD-ROM speed

The faster the CROM can display its data the better the interactive experience for the user. Currently a CD stores about 650
megabytes . CDROM technologies are always being sought to meet the demands OF FASTER ACCESS METHODS. No
one wants to wait for a video file to load up off a CDROM, or a new document to open, or a song to play. Every one wants it
now. Immediate gratification.

Digital Video Disc

A new technology that stores large amounts of data, with CD quality sound and excellent video
resolution. A fast access speed and the larger storage than CDROM has seen large demand for this

technology. DVD ROM can hold about 17 Gigabytes, while DVD- Video holds about 8.5 gigabytes
133minutes of a video.

Questions:*** Use your text and this article to answer the following

1. What are the key characteristics of Information multimedia
2. List two advantages of a kiosk browser.
3. Why would a multimedia presentation hold a students
attention for longer than a normal classroom?
4. What are the advantages of self paced learning?
5. Why are multimedia games so popular?
6. What are the effects of the demand of the entertainment
industry on the funding of development of technology?