Scalable
Display Wall
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Scalable Display Wall

Looking at NASA Space Station on display wall, March 1999

Overview

This project explores research issues on how to build and use immersive computer systems.  In particular, we are interested in building immersive systems for users to collaborate across space and time.   Current research topics we are pursuing include:
Seamless imaging: Address the problems that occur when multiple display devices are placed in physically adjacent locations, thereby creating "seams" where the edges of adjacent pieces meet. The goal is to develop methods that will make displays with actual physical seams appear seamless to the viewers.
Parallel rendering: Investigate new algorithms and implementations to use a network of computers and accelerators to render images efficiently and effectively to create high-quality 3-D images for scalable, high-resolution display systems.
Data visualization: Develop methods to visualize very large, scientific simulation datasets such as DOE ASCI scale datasets on a scalable display system interactively.
Intelligent networking: Develop communication mechanisms and protocols for both intra-system and inter-system communication to provide efficient system area networking and support remote rendering and visualization.
Spatialized sound: Develop methods to create and render spatialized sound using a scalable, inexpensive architecture for immersive systems, and develop methods to use sounds to ease human-computer interaction.
Camera-based tracking: Study how to track people's locations, their features, hand-held objects, and hand gestures. The information can be used to trigger actions and to appropriately render imagery and sound.
Design methodologies: Develop design principles which take into account known aspects of human visual perception, combined with experience from media creation and manipulation to investigate the competing roles of resolution, spatial layout, cost, and multi-modal (text, still images, moving images, and sound) data presentation.

We have constructed a scalable, high-resolution display wall system in our laboratory as an initial research infrastructure to conduct our research. The current display wall has 24 Compaq MP1800 projectors which are tiled together to create an image resolution of 6000x3000 pixels on a 8' by 18' rear projection screen. The display wall system uses a cluster of PCs with 3-D graphics accelerators and networked by Myrinet and 100Mb Ethernet.  The display wall screen is surrounded by an array of video cameras for location tracking and object tracking.  There are currently 16 speakers in the display wall room (20' by 30')  for spatialized sound effects and they are driven by a sound server that uses multiple channel sound hardware.  The architecture leverages the fast communication mechanisms developed in the SHRIMP project.

This research is sponsored in part by DOE, Intel, and NSF.

 

Related Courses

COS 495: Visual and Audio Designs for Large-Scale Computer Displays: (fall 1998), (fall 1999), (fall 2000), (spring 2001), (fall 2001),  (fall 2002)
COS 495: Special Topics in Computer Science: Medical Informatics (spring 2002)
COS 597c/598c: Immersive Computer Systems (fall 1998), (spring 1999)
COS 598d: Systems Support for Remote Data Visualization (spring 2000)

 

Faculty

Kai Li
Ben Shedd (Senior Visiting Scholar)
Adam Finkelstein
Thomas Funkhouser
Perry Cook
Douglas Clark

Research Staff

Grant Wallace

Graduate students

Han Chen
Zhiyan Liu
Yuqun Chen
Jie (Jennifer) Chen
Georg Essl
Allison Klein
Emil Praum
Rudro Samanta
Jiannan Zheng
 
 

last edited 10/29/2002