The SUNY Korea Immersive Theatre
The SUNY Korea Immersive Theatre is a giant 3D cinema display wall constructed from 12 LG top of the line 55" 3D stereo displays. It has nearly 25 Million pixels for a combined picture size of 7,680 x 3,240 pixels or 11' x 6.5'. The frames (bezels) of the individual display monitors are ultra-thin (2 mm), yielding a near seamless IMAX- quality display experience of high-end movie theaters. The SUNY Korea large-scale display uses passive stereo based on polarization to create the illusion of 3D images. A decisive advantage of polarization technology is that the 3D glasses required are very light-weight and can be worn for hours without becoming bothersome. This is unlike the traditional active stereo displays that need to be viewed with heavy eyewear which can be distracting and can lead to fast fatigue. The impressive viewing experience is complemented by high end surround sound that can provide additional depth clues, and an array of 18 cameras is distributed across the room to track hand gestures of viewers for interaction with the displayed imagery. The monitors are driven by a dual-GPU high-performance workstation. The SUNY Korea large-scale passive stereo display is the first such facility in Korea, and the total equipment cost was about $100,000.
While students and faculty alike enjoy the capabilities the display affords to experience 3D movies and games, these are not the applications for which the Immersive Theatre has been envisioned. Rather, it will be used to study and invent new human-centered interaction techniques that push the envelope in how users interact with large-scale 3D imagery. And further, it will allow the development of novel algorithms and technologies that exploit high-resolution large-scale 3D stereo to better explore and interact with data from satellite imaging, climate modeling, micro-tomography, cyber and crowd surveillance, smart energy management, and many others. The display is located in the computer science department at SUNY Korea (http://www.cs.sunykorea.ac.kr/), and the project lead is Professor Klaus Mueller, chairman of the SUNY Korea computer science department (http://www.cs.sunysb.edu/ ~mueller/)