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US university unveils world's largest immersive visualisation facility

19 November 2012

Stony Brook University in the US has unveiled a 1.5 billion pixel 'Reality Deck', a 416 screen super-high resolution virtual reality four-walled surround-view theatre.

Believed to be the largest resolution immersive display ever built, it is driven by a graphic supercomputer to give scientists, engineers and physicians the ability to visualise vast amounts of data. 

The Reality Deck, constructed with a $1.4 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant and a $600,000 match from Stony Brook University, is the first to break the one billion pixel mark with a resolution five times greater than the second largest in the world.

To illustrate the resolution, project director, Arie E. Kaufman, Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department and Chief Scientist of CEWIT, said that the entire United States population of approximately 300 million people could take a “class photo” from a satellite, and “there would be enough resolution for each person to be depicted in five pixels in colour.”

The technology will be used for visualising and analysing big data, such as advanced medical imaging, protein visualisation, nanotechnology, astronomical exploration, micro tomography, architectural design, reconnaissance, satellite imaging, security, defense, detecting suspicious persons in a crowd, climate and weather modelling, as well as storm surge mapping. 

Another feature of the Reality Deck is the 'infinite canvas', a 360-degree smart screen that changes images according to the location of the viewer walking around it, so the same image is never viewed twice.

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