technology where the United states has a pronounced advantage over Japan. In multimedia, "IBM saw a technology thai the Japanese could not copy easily." savs Koden. "TheJapanese have tremendous copying talent, Inn they don'l create or integrate hi hnology as well. They do not have the creative ability of our culture. They have never been able to equal our movie industry because they d o not have America's creative talent." Inderal, specialization puts the Japanese at a distinct disadvantage in somr' creative ventures, while they .tie known lor perfecting our inven tions and te< Inn >logy, from autos to computers, they are not known for innovative design, That leaves the l'.S. dominant in multimedia devel opment. Atlanta in particular also benefits from a tradition of entreprenourship. according to Susan Andes. [MGT '83. "There are lots of new companies being started here because the market is ready, and this is where the advances in multimedia are being made." Andes is a partner in Multimedia legal Services Inc.. which designs courtroom presentations for attorneys. "In Atlanta, the focus is more on the practical than the theo iciu al," she says. "( )tgani/alions here are interested in applications thai can be done on a large or small scale, and that helps people like me com ing out of school and starting these small companies. Atlanta's competition for multimedia leadership comes from disparate and fragmented factions. Nationally, Silicon Valley whiz kids have always been an independent A\-\d insubordinate lot. making for a competitive but not necessarily cooperative envi ronment. There are two other regions where major multimedia operations arc concentrated: Austin, Texas, where Apple and IBM have mi A ed their joint-venture operatic >ns. and Washington, !).(!., where a con
GEORGIA TECH â€˘ Fall 1992
Tech grad Ben Dyer has w o r k e d w i t h Tech lo< >t I >.i 11 c o a c h Bill Ix-wis to d e v e l o p a line o f products for h i g h s c h o o l c o a c h e s that teach the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g a n d mental aspects o f team sports. centration of defense and government industries has created a magnet for software talent. Crecine acknowledges thai Atlanta lags behind other centers in some areas such as computer software, but "there are other areas where we are clearly ahead, such as the technology underlying the cable industry, and the hardware and software associated with fiber optic networks, w e are not yet a dominant player in the area of high-definition television, but the- great thing about IIDTV is that it's just another digital device."
recine's vision of the future is based on the fact thai all electronics are headed toward a digitized base, in essence speaking a common binary dialogue. With everything from VCRs to home security systems to stereos operating from a digital base, the next frontier becomes integrating the various systems, and that raises the issue of compatibility, a problem that has long plagued the computer industry. "I low can a fairly diverse set of
companies and industries learn howto cc x iperate as well as coni| >ete?" ( !re< me asks. "It's a challenge- to bring together a coalition ol these industries and make them envision long-term profits and potential new markets as being more valuable than whatever short term O >ni| iclitive advantage they might have- in dividing up existing markets. "There is a lot of effort being put into addressing compatibilitv." says Dyer. "It has historically been a big problem, particularly in laser videodisc based systems. In the home market, over the next couple of years I think there will be- no more than two big winnersâ€” like the way VI IS and beta evolved. There will be a fair amount of standardization around those two, and a l< it < if the compatibility issues will go away." At the outset, the biggest uses of multimedia will be in corporate presentations, virtual reality simulators, education and medicine I'roc luring these "films" will require many of the same skills used by I lollv w < >< id. Instead of the one-dimensi, mal computer jockeys, the multimedia indus try requires a more diverse set of skillsâ€”a blend of artist and engineer, of computer analyst and director. "That is one of the best things to i i Hue of this." Koden savs. It takes a combination of left and right brain. My people have excellent I nglish and history backgrounds, good writ ing skills, plus they have solid computing skills. They are not only tech nieally capable, but able to create. They don't have the I lollv vvc >od or Silicon Valley extremes. The state of Georgia has been exceptionally cooperative l'.\ funding the Georgia Center for Vdvanced Telecommunications Tec htn >logy (GGA'IT), state government has made a commitment to multimedia education, as well as to highlech indus