Application of Multimedia:
Multimedia finds its application in various areas including, advertisements, art, education, entertainment, engineering, medicine, mathematics, business, and scientific research applications. A few application areas of multimedia are listed below:
Entertainment and Fine Arts:
In addition, multimedia is heavily used in the entertainment industry, especially to develop special effects in movies and animations. Multimedia games are a popular pastime and are software programs available either as CD-ROMs or online. Some video games also use multimedia features. Multimedia applications that allow users to actively participate instead of just sitting by as passive recipients of information are called Interactive Multimedia.
In Education, multimedia is used to produce computer-based training courses (popularly called CBTs) and reference books like encyclopedia. A CBT lets the user go through a series of presentations, text about a particular topic, and associated illustrations in various information formats. Edutainment is an informal term used to describe combining education with entertainment, especially multimedia entertainment.
Software engineers may use multimedia in Computer Simulations for anything from entertainment to training such as military or industrial training. Multimedia for software interfaces are often done as collaboration between creative professionals and software engineers.
In the Industrial sector, multimedia is used as a way to help present information to shareholders, superiors and coworkers. Multimedia is also helpful for providing employee training, advertising and selling products all over the world via virtually unlimited web-based technologies.
Mathematical and Scientific Research:
In Mathematical and Scientific Research, multimedia is mainly used for modeling and simulation. For example, a scientist can look at a molecular model of a particular substance and manipulate it to arrive at a new substance. Representative research can be found in journals such as the Journal of Multimedia.
In Medicine, doctors can get trained by looking at a virtual surgery or they can simulate how the human body is affected by diseases spread by viruses and bacteria and then develop techniques to prevent it.
Multimedia System Architecture:
Multimedia encompasses a large variety of technologies and integration of multiple architectures interacting in real time. All of these multimedia capabilities must integrate with the standard user interfaces such as Microsoft Windows. The following figure describes the architecture of a multimedia workstation environment.
From the above figure: the left side is very similar to non-multimedia systems. Right side shows the architecture of multimedia supporting system. Multimedia Extensions is used to enhance the speed of process. The add-on multimedia devices and peripherals include scanner, video camera, VCR, and sound equipment along with their associated device controllers. For each of these special devices, a special software device driver is needed to provide the interface from the application to the device. The graphical user interface designed primarily for windows managed by applications at fixed resolution; require control to extensions to support applications such as full-motion video or remote desktop.
Evolving Technologies for Multimedia Systems:
Multimedia applications use a number of technologies generated for both commercial business application as well as the video game industry. Let us review some of these technologies in this section.
Hypermedia documents are documents which have text, embedded or linked multimedia objects such as image, audio, hologram, or full-motion video.
Hypertext implements the organization of non-sequential of data by natural association of information. Hypertext systems allow authors to link information together; create information paths through a large volume of related text in documents. It also allows annotating existing text, and appending notes. It allows fast and easy searching and reading of selected excerpts.
Multimedia stimulated the development of general-purpose speech interfaces. Speech synthesis and speech recognition are fundamental requirement for hyperspeech systems. Speech recognition is nothing but converting the analog speech into a computer action and into ASCII text. Speech-recognition systems cannot segment a stream of sounds without breaks into meaningful units. The user must speak in a stilted fashion. He should make sure to interpose silence between each word.
3D and Holography:
Three-dimensional technologies are concerned with two areas: pointing devices and displays. 3-D pointing devices are essential to manipulate object in a 3-D display system. 3-D displays are achieved using holography techniques.
Digital Signal Processing:
Digital Signal Processing is used in applications such as digital servos in hard disk drives, and fax/modems. DSP technology is used in Digital wireless communications, such as personal communication networks (pens), wireless local area networks and digital cordless phones.
DSP Architectures and Applications:
A typical DSP operating system architecture would contain the following subsystems: Memory Management: DSP architectures provide dynamic allocation of arrays from multiple segments, including RAM, SRAM and DRAM. Hardware-Interrupt handling: A DSP operating system must be designed to minimize hardware interrupt latency to ensure fast response to real time events for applications, such as servo systems. Multitasking: DSPs need real-time kernels that provide pre-emptive multitasking and user-defined and dynamic task prioritization.