Electronic Visualization Laboratory Building First

June 29th, 2001

Categories: Devices


EVL has procured the projectors and screens to build the next generation of the CAVE Automatic Virtual Environment, or CAVE. Months of prototype validation, assisted by EVL partner Fakespace Systems, Inc., have shown this major CAVE upgrade to be dramatic.

Mirage 5000 projectors, a new product line of Christie Digital Systems, allow EVL to display virtual reality imagery many times brighter than any existing CAVE or CAVE-like device in the world. The Mirage 5000 is the first DLP-based Active Stereoscopic projector, and delivers 5000 ANSI lumens brightness (compared to 225 lumens of the Marquee 8500’s used in classic CAVEs).

In addition to the new projectors, which generate ultra-bright images, EVL has tested and installed nearly black screens to allow much higher contrast as well. The Bright Advanced Technology (BAT) CAVE, as it is being called for now, will be fully functional by mid-summer. Upon completion, Fakespace Systems expects to begin offering the product as either a new system or upgrade package to clients. Fakespace Systems holds exclusive rights to the sale and manufacturing of CAVE hardware systems.

“This latest technology transfer to our longtime commercialization partner Fakespace, and its worldwide customers, is truly gratifying to us,” said Tom DeFanti. “We’re very eager to show off the BAT CAVE to the community of VR developers and users.” Dan Sandin, co-creator of the CAVE technology with DeFanti, agrees. “The brightness, clarity and enhanced depth perspective of the new Mirage 5000 projectors produce more captivating real-time, real-life projection simulations.” Greg Dawe, who designed the original CAVE structure and continues to prototype new designs for desktop virtual-reality displays, is not only very pleased with the striking new results, but the ease of use and easy maintenance afforded by the new Mirage projectors. EVL plans to host a BAT CAVE open house in early August soon after completion of the installation.

“We are confident that this evolutionary upgrade will significantly enhance the system that has already proven so valuable to science and industry for the past decade,” said Jim Angelillo of Fakespace Systems. “UIC should once again be commended for leading the charge in the search for better visualization tools.”

EVL faculty, staff and graduate students invented the CAVE in 1991, and publicly exhibited it first at SIGGRAPH 1992. The BAT CAVE upgrade is made possible by National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation award, #EIA-9871058.

Laura Wolf
Electronic Visualization Laboratory
University of Illinois at Chicago

Jim Angelillo
Fakespace Systems

CAVE is a registered trademark of the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees.
DLP is a registered trademark of Texas Instruments.