Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New UIC 'Cyber-Commons' Wall Pops with 3-D Imagery

10.11.2011
Seamlessly tiled LCD flat-screen displays stretching floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Electronic Visualization Laboratory "Cyber-Commons" have rendered digitally enhanced images since opening in 2009. On Nov. 11, EVL demonstrates Cyber-Commons' latest enhancement -- three-dimensional imagery, displayed along with traditional 2-D images.

"It's a very powerful way to communicate ideas," says Jason Leigh, EVL director and UIC professor of computer science. "It lets people work together, make sense of lots of information, and hopefully derive insights quicker. We've found it changes the way students work together."

The Cyber-Commons flat-screen displays are tiled on the wall to form a nearly cinematic classroom blackboard that Leigh describes as "democratic" in its use. Anyone in the room with a laptop or tablet device such as an iPad can wirelessly grab space on the Cyber-Commons wall and simultaneously display multiple images from documents to videos. Users can also call up stored images, positioning and sizing them with their fingers on a touch-sensitive display surface. That is made possible by EVL-developed software called SAGE -- Scalable Adaptive Graphics Environment -- which also enables Cyber-Commons 3-D to link via high-performance networks for real-time collaboration with facilities around the world.

"CC3D puts 2-D and 3-D on the same screen at the same time," said Maxine Brown, EVL's associate director. CC3D will initially use passive stereo technology to view 3-D. While passive stereo requires special glasses, they are not expensive like active stereo glasses that cost around $100, now used with consumer 3-D TVs.

"Our glasses cost less than a dollar," said Brown, who thinks it will be a few years before "auto-stereo" technology -- which does not need special glasses -- becomes widespread and cheap. In the meantime, Brown thinks $1 glasses will be affordable to schools, museums, medical centers and businesses that are likely to use 3-D Cyber-Commons facilities.

Using 2009 federal economic stimulus grants, EVL worked with Oregon-based Planar Systems to create a 3-D LCD, ultra-thin border flat-panel display wall that gives Cyber-Commons its new, added dimension. After working together on a display prototype, Planar provided EVL with customized technology, which they call the Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall. Planar, a company specializing in high quality visualization and digital signage displays, gets a new product to market.

Leigh will test UIC's CC3D facility next spring when he teaches a video game development course collaboratively with a colleague at Louisiana State University. He said EVL's focus is on scientific research and educational use in medicine, engineering and chemistry, where adding 3-D images offers real insight and understanding.

"3-D is more than Hollywood gimmickry," said Leigh. "Humans understand information much more effectively in 3-D."

Visualizing a molecule, for example, in only two dimensions can lack the depth cues needed for full comprehension.

Geoscience is another field where 3-D adds substantial advantages. Leigh cited a study of male and female students that found females had typically performed more poorly in geospatial tests. But when stereoscopic 3-D capability was added, both males and females improved and the gender difference disappeared.

"It eliminates that barrier," Leigh said.

CC3D will also serve as a technology test bed for EVL's "Next-Generation CAVE" Automatic Virtual Environment facility, debuting a year from now. CAVE, developed 20 years ago at EVL and now commercialized by companies around the world, originally used projectors and very expensive 3-D glasses. Leigh calls the new display technology for CC3D bright and "gloriously beautiful."

"We'll be the first to build an LCD, non-projector-based CAVE," said Leigh. "We calculate that the display resolution will be on the order of what matches human vision."

UIC doctoral graduate Tom Peterka, now a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, is helping in both NG-CAVE and CC3D development with an eye on possible use of 3-D technology at America's national laboratories.

Paul Francuch | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

nachricht To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer HHI with latest VR technologies at NAB in Las Vegas

24.04.2017 | Trade Fair News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>