Fakespace commercialises University of Illinois' digital CAVE design to create superbright visualisation environments

Los Angeles 14 August 2001Fakespace Systems Inc., an expert in immersive visualisation systems, has brought to market a digital version of the CAVE, and an upgrade kit to enhance existing immersive room environments with digital projection technology. The digital CAVE, available exclusively from Fakespace Systems, provides extremely bright, colourful, sharp and stable imagery, significantly expanding its power and flexibility for researchers, engineers, and designers using visualisation for enhanced collaboration and better understanding of complex volumetric data.

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Fakespace Systems also has contracted to deliver a digital CAVE to Delta Search Labs, a privately funded research and development foundation focused on advances in the use of high-performance computing and visualisation. Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Delta Search Labs works in alliance with leading university researchers and commercial partners in the aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, informational technology, and petrochemical industries. The digital CAVE, scheduled for installation in September, will be used for visualisation in dynamic collision simulation, computational fluid dynamics, biotechnology, and other applications, and will serve as a test bed for new I/O devices which simplify ways in which engineers and scientists interact with data in real time.

"We are excited to work with a digital CAVE", stated Kamal Jaffrey, Delta Search Labs' chief executive officer. "The CAVE will allow our staff to analyse, interpret, and interact with computational results in new, more powerful ways." Developed at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL) at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC), with input from Fakespace Systems, the digital CAVE incorporates new screen and reflective materials, and a new corner design which makes seams almost imperceptible. The digital stereo projection is based on either 5000 lumen or 2000 lumen DLP projectors, providing an immersive environment which is up to six times brighter than previously available CAVEs.

"The images projected in the digital CAVE are truly stunning", stated Tom DeFanti, co-director of the Electronic Visualization Lab at UIC. "Even those of us involved in the development have been amazed at the clarity and brightness of this new system. We are gratified to transfer this new technology to our long time commercialisation partner, Fakespace Systems, and its worldwide customers." Originally invented in 1991 at UIC, the CAVE, which stands for Cave Automatic Virtual Environment, is recognised as the most significant display system developed for immersive design and research applications. Fakespace Systems has had the exclusive rights to manufacture and market the CAVE since 1995.

The digital CAVE, which is available with either 8-ft. x 10-ft. walls or 10-ft. x 12-ft. walls, uses the world's first DLP-based active stereo projector, the Mirage series from Christie Digital. Earlier model CAVEs are either 8-ft. x 8-ft. or 10-ft. x 10-ft. and are based on Marquee 8500 CRT projectors from Christie Digital, which provide just 225 ANSI lumen brightness. "We are very pleased to be the first to offer the advantages of digital projection technology in an immersive room environment", stated Jim Angelillo, vice president, strategic relationships for Fakespace Systems. "As a major evolution of the original CAVE, its exceptional clarity and rich colours provide an even more convincing sense of presence for work with virtual models and environments."


Leslie Versweyveld

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