The next phase from the evolution of high-tech displays can be here, along with This particular time, the term ‘leading edge’ isn’t just a catchy slogan, however an evocative description of the technology’s look along with feel.
The University of California, San Diego’s brand new WAVE display, true to its name, can be shaped like an ocean wave, which has a curved wall array of 35 55″ LG commercial LCD monitors which end in a ‘crest’ above the viewer’s head along which has a ‘trough’ at his or her feet. An acronym for Wide-Angle Virtual Environment, the item was designed along with built in-house by QI’s Director of Visualization Tom DeFanti, QI Professor of Visualization along with Virtual Reality Falko Kuester along with Senior Design Engineer Greg Dawe. The WAVE, a 5×7 array of HDTVs, can be right now 20′ long by nearly 12′ high.
Under the leadership of researchers at the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications along with Information Technology (Calit2) – known as the Qualcomm Institute (QI) – high-resolution computerized displays have evolved over the past decade by 2D to 3D panels along with by one monitor to arrays of many monitors. They’ve transitioned by stationary structures to structures on wheels, along with by thick bezels (the rim which holds the glass display) to ultra-narrow bezels. Such technology can be right now widely used in television newsrooms, airports along with even retail stores, however not in 3D like the WAVE.
The WAVE was funded, in part, by a $3.4 million grant by the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation Program, with matching funds by UCSD, its Jacobs School of Engineering, the Department of Computer Science along with Engineering, the Department of Structural Engineering along with QI. The Intel University Program Office donated the system’s Xeon server-class multicore processors. “The WAVE was designed as part of the SCOPE project, or Scalable Omnipresent Environment, an effort to build a distributed big data visualization environment which serves as both a microscope along with telescope along with enables users to explore data by the nano to micro to macro to mega scale, allowing team members to explore a multitude of grand-challenges from the sciences along with engineering,” said Prof. Kuester, the project’s principal investigator.
With the creation of the WAVE, “we wanted to give people an experience of looking over the edge, of hanging off a railing like you might do at the Grand Canyon,” says DeFanti, who can be world-renowned for his work developing high-resolution immersive displays. “To do which, we had to provide an image above along with below the viewer. When the data comes up along with the ground plane disappears underneath you, you the item truly feels like you’re flying over the data.”
DeFanti said the WAVE was born by a desire to feel completely immersed in data, as if the viewer can be actually part of the scene. along with the item’s not just ‘eye candy,’ either. The ability to see data at a resolution of tens of millions of pixels has important research implications for those working in, say, the biological sciences, archaeology or structural engineering. Earlier projector-based technologies, such as the QI StarCAVE, provide the feeling of being surrounded by an image along with make the item possible to ‘walk through’ a design of a protein or a building, for example, however the StarCAVE requires a huge room, along with can be not movable or replicable.
By contrast, the WAVE can be erected against a standing wall along with can be moved along with repliciated. WAVE content can be clearly viewed by 20 or more people at once, not possible in earlier immersive displays at UCSD. Its curved aluminum structure, designed by Dawe, can be also a technical ‘fix’ for the problem of images on 3D passively polarized screens appearing as double images when placed in a large, flat array. which has a curved array, the viewer can stand anywhere in front of the WAVE along with experience excellent 3D with no visual distortion.
All the VR content along with techniques developed in the past for engineering, medical, archaeology, tourism along with various other uses from the StarCAVE can be seen from the WAVE since the item also uses QI’s CalVR software libraries, designed along with written by Research Scientist Jurgen Schulze along with Programmer Analyst III Andrew Prudhomme.
“One of the reasons I found the curvature appealing can be which the item feels like the department store windows of yore, or museum dioramas, in which the glass can be positioned away by you along with you can’t touch the item, so the item doesn’t feel like the item’s there,” adds DeFanti. “The WAVE achieves which illusion very nicely along with in high resolution.”
The WAVE’s commercial LCD panels also render images more brightly, at a higher resolution along with contrast along with in much better alignment than the StarCAVE, producing the item appropriate for use in laboratories, museum spaces along with galleries. Its debut, in fact, took place last summer at the opening of the Qualcomm Institute’s “EX3: Exodus, Cyber-Archaeology along with the Future” exhibition, which was produced by UCSD Anthropology Professor along with QI affiliate Tom Levy in partnership with DeFanti along with Kuester. More than 500 viewers – including UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla – were able to ‘fly through’ a 3D geographical design of three regions of the Sinai Peninsula where the Biblical Exodus possibly took place. QI’s Jessica Block along with Philip Weber created the 3D flyover showing conceivable routes for the Exodus which have been proposed by scholars in the past.
“The Exodus exhibition was a proof of concept for ‘the museum of the future,'” explains Prof. Kuester, who also serves as the director of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture along with Archaeology, highlighting which a technologically empowered museum can be desirable along with achievable, providing unique brand new formats to explore along with experience world cultural heritage. The QI visualization technical team which built the Exodus exhibit also included Eric Lo, Joe Keefe along with Chris McFarland who built the WAVE computers along with wired them to the screens.
The WAVE can be part of the brand new UC San Diego Structural along with Material Engineering building’s Visualization Lab, also known as the WAVElab. The WAVE will be used for visualization research in a wide range of projects, by structural engineering to cultural heritage along with archaeology. A portable 110″ diagonal screen edition, dubbed the “WAVElet,” has been built which can move around on wheels along with be shipped anywhere in its integral road case. Already its designers are thinking of ways to tweak the technology – they desire to eventually build these panels the item into not just a wave, however perhaps a completely immersive tube akin to the ideal wave of surfers’ dreams.
“This particular can be La Jolla, after all,” jokes DeFanti.
Modified HDTV screens used for 3-D technology (w/ Video)