Visiting the Allosphere
By Linda Fellingham on Sep 28, 2007
Last week, I visited the Allosphere facility in the California Nanosystems Institute at UC Santa Barbara.
This is a 10 m diameter spherical projection screen with 3D spatially-localized audio and stereo projectors. There is a bridge inside where up to 15 users can stand and experience fully immersive virtual reality.
This is a picture looking into the Allosphere (with the technical director and director of the Allosphere facility). That is the bridge that the viewers will stand on, while being surrounded by their data.
This is the outside of the sphere. There are two hundred of these speakers positioned around the sphere. There are carefully calibrated delay lines to get spatialized audio synchronized with the 3D visuals.
The sphere sits inside a 3-story high anechoic chamber. It is REALLY difficult to get a decent picture of something this big, this close-up. Also it is dark.
Right now, they have one quadrant (top front) of the sphere lit-up with stereo projectors. I saw a really interesting demo program of flying through the brain from fMRI data. When they have the full sphere, looking at geophysical data in this facility should be really awesome. Talk about Journeys to the Center of the Earth!