Multimedia is a combination of text, graphic art, and sound, animation and video elements.
The IBM dictionary of computing describes multimedia as "comprehensive material, presented in a combination of text, graphics, video, animation and sound. Any system that is capable of presenting multimedia, is called a multimedia system".
A multimedia application accepts input from the user by means of a keyboard, voice or pointing device. Multimedia applications involve using multimedia teclmology for business, education and entertainment. Multimedia is now available on standard computer platforms. It is the best way to gain attention of users and is widely used in many fields as follows:
* Business - In any business enterprise, multimedia exists in the form of advertisements, presentations, video conferencing, voice mail, etc.
Schools - Multimedia tools for learning are widely used these days. People of all ages learn easily and quickly when they are presented information with the visual treat.
Home PCs equipped with CD-ROMs and game machines hooked up with TV screens have brought home entertainment to new levels. These multimedia titles viewed at home would probably be available on the multimedia highway soon.
Public places - Interactive maps at public places like libraries, museums, airports and the stand-alone terminal
Virtual Reality (VR) - This technology helps us feel a 'real life-like' experience. Games using virtual reality effect is very popular
High-impact multimedia applications, such as presentations, training and messaging, require the use of moving images such as video and image animation, as well as sound (from the video images as well as overlaid sound by a narrator) intermixed with document images and graphical text displays. Multimedia applications require dynamic handling of data consisting of a mix of text, voice, audio components, video components, and image animation. Integrated multimedia applications allow the user to cut sections of all or any of these components and paste them in a new document or in another application such as an animated sequence of events, a. desktop publishing system, or a spreadsheet.
The components that fall under our definition of multimedia are: '
Data elements for Multimedia Systems
FacsimileFacsimile transmissions were the first practical means of transmitting document images over telephone lines. The basic technology, now widely used, has evolved to allow higher scanning density for better-quality fax
Document images Document images are used for storing business documents that must be retained for long periods oftime or may need to be accessed by a large number of people. Providing multimedia access to such documents removes the need far making several copies ofthe original for storage or distribution
Photographic images Photographic images are used for a wide range of applications . such as employee records for instant identification at a security desk, real estates systems with photographs of houses in the database containing the description of houses, medical case histories, and so on.
Geographic information systems map (GIS)
Map created in a GIS system are being used wildly for natural resources and wild life management as well as urban planning. These systems store the geographical information of the map along with a database containing information relating highlighted map elements with statistical or item information such as wild life statistics or details of the floors and rooms and workers in an office building
Voice commands and voice synthesisVoice commands and voice synthesis are used for hands-free operations of a computer program. Voice synthbsis is used for presenting the results of an action to the user in a synthesized voice. Applications such as a patient monitoring system in a surgical theatre will be prime beneficiaries of these capabilities. Voice commands allow the user to direct computer operation by spoken commands
Audio messageAnnotated voice mail already uses audio or voice message as attachments to memos and documents such as maintenance manuals.
Video messagesVideo messages are being used in a manner similar to annotated voice mail.
All of the technologies so for essentially present a flat view of information. Holographic images extend the concept of virtual reality by allowing the user to get "inside" a part, such as, an engine and view its operation from the inside.
Fractals started as a technology in the early 1980s but have received serious attention only recently. This technology is based on synthesizing and storing algorithms that describes the information.