Stony Brook University scientists, researchers and professors last week unveiled the Reality Deck, a high-tech immersive visualization facility at the university's Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology.
Stony Brook first announced its intent to build the facility in July of 2010, saying it had received a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation. An additional $600,000 was provided by the university itself.
The Reality Deck features 416 high-resolution displays within a room measuring 33-by-19-by-10 feet, with a total of 1.5 billion pixels – according to the University, that's five times bigger than the second-largest similar display in the world, and the first to break the one-billion pixel mark.
The University sums it up this way: It's a "virtual reality four-walled surround-view theater," the purpose and design of which "is to enable scientists, engineers and physicians to tackle modern-age problems that require the visualization of vast amounts of data."
Arie E. Kaufman, PhD, the chair of the Computer Science Department and chief scientist of the CEWIT, served as the project director.
Kaufman said the Reality Deck's applications include advanced medical imaging, nanotechnology, astronomical exploration, architectural design, reconnaissance, satellite imaging, news and blog analyses, climate and weather modeling, and more. The facility could be utilized, for example, to find suspicious persons in a large crowd of people or to map present and potential storm surges from disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.
“We’ve never had a way to analyze and display tremendous amounts of data at one time before," he said in a statement. "This is revolutionary for visual analytics, which is the most powerful and critically important analyses.”
Yacov Shamash, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and vice president of economic development, said the Reality Deck will further advance the research potential at Stony Brook and the CEWIT.
“The Reality Deck will spur medical breakthroughs, groundbreaking new technologies and greater partnerships with industry that will help to create new jobs,” he said.