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 New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast
20.02.2018 | University of Warwick

nachricht In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer
19.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung

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: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>