C-Wall (Configurable Wall)


Developers: Alan Verlo, Daniel J. Sandin, Greg Dawe, Jason Leigh, Thomas A. DeFanti

Funding: NSF

The C-Wall is a high-quality, tracked, circularly polarized passive stereo wall, which could also be adapted to active stereo using Mirage DLP projectors. It is a site-specific, configurable installation (rear or front projection) with a component set similar to that of the GeoWall, but at a higher price point. It functions as a one-wall CAVE in terms of performance and compatibility with CAVELib software.

Circular polarization produces a slightly more expensive but superior method of delivering different images to each eye to produce the stereo experience. Linear polarization suffers from severe ghosting (right- and left-eye image mixing when the viewer tilts his head).

After experimenting with various screen materials, we found that either stretched plastic or rigid screens are suitable; however, a rigid screen must be acrylic and not Lucite, and cannot be annealed. Sites with little money or constrained spaces require front-projection technology, but the display will suffer in terms of contrast, shadow casting and a smaller angle of view. Black screen produces the highest contrast because of ambient light rejection. We developed an acrylic screen specification for Stewart Filmscreen Corporation, which now manufactures and distributes it as a product.

Finding a low-cost tracking system comparable to CAVE technology is a challenge. Any tracking system specified for the ImmersaDesk will work; however, the goal is to develop an untethered system for around $2,000. In an early prototyping stage, a low-cost, camera-based tracking system where the user wore retro-reflective color targets produced low-cost untethered tracking. We are investigating the use of neural-net-based face recognition technology.

Email: dan@uic.edu

Date: January 1, 2002 - January 1, 2005
User Interacts with the C-Wall - T. Margolis, EVL

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