With seven collaborative environments supporting high-resolution, 3D stereoscopic imaging capability, including a 100 million pixel, six-sided immersive virtual reality room, KAUST has realized several world firsts for advanced visualization. Researchers and students from around the world will have unmatched capability to transform data sets into rich three-dimensional (3D) visual information. KAUST, a graduate-level research university in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia (80 km north of Jeddah), selected Mechdyne to provide complete visualization systems, a graphics computing cluster and a control room/recording center housed at the University's Al-Khawarzimi Mathematical and Computer Sciences and Engineering Building. The GM&SVRC, which KAUST developed in collaboration with the University of California San Diego, underlies the new university's commitment to provide the world's best tools for research into some of the most challenging questions in science and technology.
Among other projects, GM&SVRC will develop virtual environments for interactive visual exploration of three-dimensional geological structures, dynamic seismic processes and atmospheric processes and effects on built or planned infrastructure.
"We are honored to have been selected by KAUST to provide design and integration services for the world's largest scientific research and visualization center," said Chris Clover, president and chief executive officer of Mechdyne. "The university has an incredible vision of how research can be advanced through visualization and collaboration. We are very excited to have had the opportunity to apply our experience in large-scale projects, including ultra-high resolution, immersive 3D and networked collaborative environments to help KAUST bring this vision to life."
Highlights of the technology and integration services provided by Mechdyne for the GM&SVRC are summarized below:
-- CORNEA (from the Arabic word, Al-Qarniya) is a fully-immersive, six- sided 3D virtual reality environment with 100 million pixels of stereoscopic 3D information. Cornea is configured to display 100 million pixel images for the viewer's left eye and 100 million pixels for the right eye to produce the 3D effect. Imagery is projected by 24 advanced Sony SXRD projectors each with 4K resolution (four per wall on the 10' square wall screens). The Cornea images are generated by a custom designed visualization computing cluster with 96 channels of graphics output at 2048 x 1080 pixels each. The room includes a custom designed spatial audio system, developed in conjunction with Meyer Sound, to create an acoustic experience that mimics reality like no other system before. -- A Multipurpose Room (MPR) featuring a 10 ft high x 20 ft wide, Mechdyne PowerWall with 64 million pixels driven by eight 4K projectors. The MPR is a stereoscopic environment with 32 million pixels of 3D resolution. For the MPR, Mechdyne designed a custom computing cluster with 32 channels of graphics connected via fiber optic connections. The MPR also features 20.4 Digital Surround Sound, six 80-in. plasma displays and HD videoconferencing technology. -- Two Lecture Halls with PowerWall 3D displays, each with four 4K projectors creating 16 million stereoscopic pixels, providing exceptional resolution for audiences of up to 150 in each hall. These displays are networked to the Applied Math Building at KAUST, allowing data from the math department to be displayed in these remote lecture halls. -- Three "Development Systems" for collaborative teams including one room with a 5.25 ft high x 10 ft wide, 8 million pixel 3D PowerWall; a second room with two portable 6 ft wide x 10.5 ft high stereoscopic Mechdyne ROVR HD display systems; and a third room with Mechdyne's 61- in., HD resolution 3D Review Station. These Development Systems will be used by researchers to prepare data for the larger Cornea and MPR displays as well as the Lecture Halls. -- A digital control and recording suite that allows record and playback of HD quality information from all of the 3D immersive and display environments integrated within the GM&SVRC. Data recorded in one visualization system can be played back on any of the other displays in the facility via fiber connections. -- A 10 GigE (Gigabit Ethernet) high-speed fiber network that connects the visualization systems to a Control and Recording Room data center to enable recording of visualization sessions in any of the collaborative environments. The center also allows configuring any data set in an appropriate format and resolution for playback and viewing in any of the individual rooms. -- Software for development and viewing of 3D visualizations, including Mechdyne's CAVElib, vGeo (Virtual Global Explorer) and Conduit packages. Conduit specifically will allow KAUST to experience many standard desktop applications such as 3DS Max, Maya, and Google Earth in the Cornea, the MPR and the other stereoscopic, interactive systems. -- Desktop control workstations and flat-panel displays, as well as secondary large-format flat screen displays used for supplemental viewing in the Cornea and the MPR environments.
Per Mechdyne's standard procedure, each of the KAUST visualization systems was completely staged within the Mechdyne Technical Center, in the United States, for operational testing, quality control and customer approval prior to shipping to the installation site. Images of several of the visual environments being staged can be found on the company's web site, at http://www.mechdyne.com/press/2009/webgallery/KAUST_PR.htm
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is an international, graduate-level research university dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement in the Kingdom, the region and around the globe. For more information about KAUST, visit www.kaust.edu.sa.
About Mechdyne Corporation
Mechdyne Corporation is the world's largest company dedicated to consulting and development of turnkey advanced AV, immersive 3D, networked and collaborative visualization solutions. Winner of a 2008 AV Award from ArchiTech Magazine and Infocomm, the company addresses complex projects where in-depth understanding of user requirements leads to the development of products and customized solutions involving elements of display, graphics computing, software and professional services. Headquartered in Marshalltown, Iowa, Mechdyne's customers include leading government laboratories, military research programs, energy companies and a variety of 'edutainment,' manufacturing, and other users of visualization technology. More information is available at www.mechdyne.com.
For more information: Jeff Brum Mechdyne Corporation 519-664-0036, ext. 221 Email Contact Matt Schmidt FS Communications 650-345-3549 Email Contact