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Pulse Powers First-Ever Immersive 3D Web Tour of a Television Show, For NBC's Will & Grace

(August 06, 2001)
Pulse, in conjunction with NBC, today announced that a new "3D virtual tour" of the sets from NBC's hit show Will & Grace is now available on Developed by Pulse utilizing their proprietary technology as well as that of partner REALVIZ, the primary sets from the Emmy-Award winning Will & Grace are now offered as immersive, interactive 3D environments that fans of the show can explore in depth with the click of a mouse. Offering a first-person, hands-on view of the title characters' home and offices, the Will & Grace 3D virtual tour for the first time enables users to navigate and interact with photo-realistic versions of the actual sets and props from a TV show. Pulse's previous collaboration with NBC resulted in the creation of the Virtual Jay Leno character -- the first interactive, 3D version of a real-world TV celebrity. Virtual Jay appeared on "The Tonight Show" and is still featured on the site.

The first photo-real walk-through of a TV show's sets on the Web, the Will & Grace virtual tour also features the Web's first photo-real site guide. Melinda Ritz, the set decorator for the television show, serves as "tour guide" and appears as a 3D, photo-real "virtual character" in the lower right corner of the screen at key times during the tour. Ritz offers up insights regarding the sets' design and evolution, as well as behind-the-scenes, newly disclosed trivia about the show.

With interest in Will & Grace at an all-time high, the virtual tour serves NBC's viewing public by providing followers of the show with new ways to involve themselves in the characters' living space. hosts the new virtual tour and will feature it on the site as Will & Grace prepares for its fourth season this Fall. The Will & Grace virtual tour is available directly at

"The Pulse-powered virtual tour of Will & Grace exemplifies a revolutionary new way for consumers to experience their favorite television shows online," said Chris Gelke, Marketing Manager at NBC. "Pulse adds a third dimension and interactivity to previously two-dimensional content, allowing viewers to become more engaged with shows which already hold a place in their daily lives."

Pulse partnered with the San Francisco division of French-based REALVIZ, a global leader in image-based content creation, to build the Will & Grace sets. Applying "photo-stitching" and image modeling processes to digital pictures of the actual show sets, Pulse and REALVIZ recreated the show's environs in a fully immersive, interactive form accessible to consumers around the globe. The Will & Grace virtual tour has been optimized for download via narrow- and broadband connections. While the files take approximately five minutes to download via a 56k modem, they each contain the equivalent of roughly 75 MB of digitized video, which would require more than six hours to download. And unlike video, the Pulse files are fully interactive and navigable. Users can even pick up, rotate and learn more about various props in each setting, such as Will's espresso maker and Karen's desk and refrigerator in Grace's office.

"We've succeeded in making the most popular medium in history even more engaging, through the additions of online immersion and interactivity," said Fred Angelopoulos, CEO of Pulse. "Taking television from a passive 'lean-back' experience to a 'lean-forward,' interactive online experience for consumers illustrates the incredible potential of our technology. The Will & Grace tour demonstrates how Pulse technology enables any audience to experience a virtual environment."

Pulse's lineup of enterprise solutions for creating and delivering immersive 3D rich media solutions on the Web has been embraced by a broad range of industries, including online education, marketing and advertising, e-commerce, entertainment, CRM and medical visualization.

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