Week 8

Current Work - Large and Small

Inexpensive VR setups

Many PC Graphics cards have 2 or more output connectors

- Allows you to have one wide desktop spread over 2 displays

Draw left eye view on one display, and the right eye view on the other display

Filters in front of projectors polarize the light that reaches the screen

Viewers wear lightweight glasses with filters so the right eye sees only the right-eye image and the left eye sees only the left-eye image

PC graphics card with 2 outputs from around 2000.

Temporary GeoWall setup at the Museum of Science and Industry

The Adler Planetarium has two permanent GeoWall setups - one on the exhibits floor and another in the Space Visualization Laboratory along with a tiled display

Temporary GeoWall setup at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School

But that's not all ... there is typically enough room in even the shuttle PCs for more graphics cards to drive a small tile display as well as a passive stereo display so people can view 3D data and high resolution 2D data simultaneously from the same computer.

Today there are quite a few flat screen 3D televisions
for sale which can also be used to display stereo content. The typical issues of projectors vs flat panels remain. Projectors can generate an image as large as the polarizing screen or wall surface you have available but will be dimmer and lower contrast that the flat panels.

The GeoWall has a fairly large footprint and typically resolution for each projector. This works well for a classroom, but less well for  single investigator with high-resolution 3D data. One solution to these problems is a smaller version of the PARIS called the ImmersaDesk 4 which we built in 2004. The ImmersaDesk4 made use of two 2560x1600 30" monitors, a half-silvered mirror, and passive stereo driven by a single PC. An optional tracking system allows for head/hand tracking.

These photos show an ImmersaDesk4 built at the Naval Research Lab for the STEREO project to look at stereo photographs of the sun (and compare them to simulated modes.)

So what else is going on at EVL

We are generally funded to investigate technologies that are 10 to 15 years away from common usage, so we tend to focus on user's with high-end visualization needs. At the same time we look for ways to adapt this research to more commodity-level hardware such as the GeoWall for use in school classrooms, museums, university-level courses

Much of our current visualization work is currently centered around high-resolution tile displays such as this 100,000,000 pixel display (17,600 x 6,000) from 2004, which we can use to display one or more simultaneous visualization applications.

Shown below is aerial photography of Chicago at 1/3 meter per pixel resolution.

Shown below is aerial photography of Chicago sharing the screen with a high-definition camera feed, and an animation

We are also working with high-resolution displays in a table format, giving more interesting interaction possibilities, and responsibilities since users could be standing anywhere around the table, such as the LambdaTable from 2004.

What we are prototyping a time in the future when the walls themselves become high-resolution displays and people will have much more resolution available to display / share / compare / contrast information.

There is current work going on in the study of 'war rooms' - intense collaboration spaces in different disciplines, making use of common technologies such as white boards and flip charts, and post-it notes, etc, in a room. Being able to position the different types of information around the room allows people to better organize the information and the relationships between the different types of information. The space itself becomes an important part of the data analysis process.

In addition to the auto-stereo work on large displays such as the 35 LCD-panel Varrier we are also working on smaller auto-stereo displays such as the personal Varrier made with an apple 30" LCD panel. Shown below is our auto-stereo teleconferencing application

All of these devices are designed to take advantage of fibre optic networks through the OptIPuter research. These networks allow you to create dedicated 10 gigabit links between computational resources and visualization resources.

These kinds of links allow us to separate the data used for visualization, the visualization generators, and the display into three separate sites linked by high-speed high-bandwidth networks.

These kinds of resources are needed because there is so much data to visualize in certain disciplines.

The US Geological survey has 51 terabytes of aerial photographs of 133 urban areas in the US at 1/3 of a meter resolution per pixel. This generates maps at resolutions such as 365,000 by 365,000 pixels.

NCMIR studies rat brains with microscopes generating images of 4000 by 4000 pixels that are then put together to generate montages of 43,200 images.

Or even larger montages of a rat kidney

Core Labs take core samples from ice, lakes, and the bottom of oceans ending up with over 300 km of core samples, that are being scanned at 100 dpi. This technology was used in Antarctica as part of the ANDRILL Project in 2006 and 2007.

We are prototyping a similar setup for use at the Adler Planetarium for patrons to view the panoramic images from the recent Mars missions

Large high resolution displays allow researchers in these disciplines to see both detail and context at the same time. The high-speed high-bandwidth networks allow the data or visualizations of the data to be moved from storage locations to display locations quickly.

2014 is a really exciting time with multiple low-cost head mounted displays coming on the market.

Oculus Rift - https://www.oculus.com

Samsung Gear VR - http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/wearable-tech/all-products

from thenextweb.com

Microsoft HoloLens - http://www.microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/en-us

from gizmag.com

Valve / HTC Vive VR -

from cnet.com

Sony - Project Morpheus - http://www.sony.com/SCA/company-news/press-releases/sony-computer-entertainment-america-inc/2014/sony-computer-entertainment-announces-project-morp.shtml

from techradar.com

For Thursday

Before next class please read the following paper:


Coming Next Time

Project 2 Presentations

last revision 3/6/15