ITEC 2000 Exposition   by   Chris Van Lierop

The 11th International Conference, Exhibition and Network for Training, Education and Simulation
Tuesday 11th to Thursday 13th April 2000 
Netherlands Congress Center, The Hague, The Netherlands 

The ITEC 2000 conference brings together experts from academia, government and industry to present and discuss the latest developments in training and education technology and methodology. More than 500 delegates, who have a professional interest in simulation, training and education technology and techniques, will listen to research quality papers, in-depth technical briefs and discussions on a wide range of topics, covering training related aviation, civil disaster preparedness, defense, law enforcement, transportation, manufacturing and business. 


The Exposition

I was made aware of the fact that there was such a thing as the ITEC exposition by Leo van der Weerden of the Museum for Flightsimulation. I heard of someone else later, that this exposition was for invited and business people only. Well being a big important spokesperson of a large international organization (SimPits International) I didn't think I would have much trouble getting in ;-) And I was right! With my best poker face and home-printed 'bussiness-card' I was the proud owner of an entrance badge in no time... Which reminded me I had to redesign my card, because the woman who helped me thought my company was "Sim Hangar"!?

Entering the building the first thing that came to my attention was the abundance of large screens, projectors and monitors. No expenses had be saved in this area! I started to walk around a bit, to see what was all in store. The exposition was pretty large but not huge. There were all kinds of different companies selling all kinds of products, all related to (flight-) simulation. All together there were approximately 120 companies represented. All the big names were present too, like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Saab etc. etc. Most of the products were aimed at the military simulations. As a result there was a lot of military personnel about.

One my first orientating round through the building I came across all kinds of companies and products. Motion platforms, CRT and LCD projectors, control sticks, software, computer hardware, head mounted displays, etc. etc. Having walked the complete exposition once, my first disappointment set in: there were only very few cockpits displayed. The ones that were displayed were more like generic kind of cockpits and not detailed representations of actual aircraft. Most of them also seemed more aimed at the entertainment industry with lack of a 'believable' flight-model. As a result I didn't really feel the need to try hard and take a ride in them.

One thing that really blew me of my socks was the level of detail in the new military simulations. I thought PC graphics had come a long way, but what was displayed here was really very close to photo-realism! No aliasing problems and silky smooth framerates!! Combine that with a very high resolution and BIG displays and you're sure to drop my jaw for the next 25 minutes. You just had to see it to believe it! Some of the simulations used up to 8(!) Silicon Graphics Onyx2 machines!

I did make some contacts at the exposition, but most of the companies there were aimed at the big commercial simulation market, so a little out of the league for the "low-budget SimPitter". This was a very nice experience, and the next time it's in the Netherlands, I'll go again for sure. For the general SimPitter however there's not much to be found. The companies are more aimed at selling their products than sharing information (and who can blame them??), and that's more what we need... I did go home with a bout 3 kilo's of advertising folders and magazines ;-) 

Copyright © 2000  Chris Van Lierop