Technology Transfer: UIC / EVL Partners with Industry to Advance 3D Visualization Display Technology

EVL Cyber-Commons 3D wall - Lance Long, EVL

Participants: EVL faculty, staff, and students


EDITOR’S NOTE: The UIC NEWS article “Learning in 3-D,” published November 16, 2011, announced the UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory’s (EVL) new 3D version of its popular Cyber-Commons’ technology-enhanced classroom and meeting room.

The article explained that the technology used to build the Cyber-Commons 3D tiled display wall - 3D ultra-thin border, flat-panel displays - was developed by EVL in partnership with Planar Systems, an Oregon-based company. EVL received funding to work on this from a U.S. National Science Foundation economic stimulus grant. This collaboration proved mutually beneficial, as EVL got customized technology that surpassed what was commercially available, and Planar got a new product to market.

This week, Planar introduced its new 3D display product - named the Clarity™ Matrix 3D LCD video wall - at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) conference, held in Amsterdam January 31 - February 2, 2012.

The Planar press release contains a quote from EVL director and UIC computer science professor Jason Leigh: “The Clarity Matrix 3D LCD Video Wall System is changing the way we learn and communicate ideas,” said Leigh. “All students and faculty need to do is attach a laptop [to Cyber-Commons 3D] and put on a pair of inexpensive glasses to gain a whole new perspective on the subject matter they’re studying. Sharing and collaborative analysis of images has never been simpler or more enlightening.”

In addition to the release, Planar has splashed photos of EVL’s Cyber-Commons 3D on its home page and profiled EVL in a case study that provides a more in-depth review of how powerful 3D visualization is used in higher education. Leigh is quoted extensively. “The Clarity Matrix 3D video wall is a powerful tool with which to communicate ideas,” says Leigh. “It lets people work together, make sense of lots of information, and derive insights quicker.” Enterprises interested in 3D video wall technology include architectural firms, energy exploration companies, pharmaceutical firms, film and video game producers. “They view our video wall as the standard of leading-edge technology that will improve their ability to visualize their own designs, data sets and models.”

EVL’s work with Planar is an example of technology transfer at its best, as it has been a true partnership between academia and industry, resulting in new commercially available display technologies. Says Leigh is the case study: “Planar… is unique in that they will custom-build a display wall that meets your interests. And they’ll work with you doing it; sharing knowledge and solving problems in partnership. No other company has worked with us in this manner, and as a result, the experience has been more positive than we could have imagined.”

EVL continues to work with Planar on the development of its Next-Generation CAVE virtual reality theater, to debut this Fall. The two groups continue to work on prototypes of potentially future products.

Read Planar’s press release (January 31, 2012), see:


Date: February 3, 2012

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