CITRIS Tech Museum Viz Wall

‘Super-ultra HD’ vizwall opens in CITRIS Tech Museum

by Saemmool Lee

The new CITRIS CAVE exhibit now on display at the CITRIS Tech Museum in Sutardja Dai Hall offers a dynamic experience designed to share and preserve immersive visualizations of cultural heritage sites and materials at risk from warfare, terrorism, or erosion.

The “vizwall” – with its 6 conjoined 4K high-dynamic range, smart LED, super-ultra-high-definition) TV screens – is part of a network connecting similar Cave Automatic Visual Environment (CAVE) kiosks in UC Berkeley’s Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology (HearstCAVE) and three other UC campuses (UC Merced, UCLA, and UC San Diego).

By transferring large datasets from collaborators, the CAVE kiosks could also display a wide range of visualizations in the fields of astronomy, earth sciences, and life sciences. They can also be used in AR/VR applications, distributed photogrammetry workflows in real time, and zoom-based videoconferencing between CAVEs.

The high-speed and high-throughput networks connecting CAVE kiosks have been developed by the multicampus Pacific Research Platform (PRP) project. The PRP provides a high-speed cyberinfrastructure for large data sets by connecting campus networks and supercomputing centers. It helps campus-to-campus and inter-campus shared internet/networks achieve speeds of between 10 and 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) – which can be 10 to 100 times greater than speeds on the commodity internet. The CITRIS Tech Museum’s network connection was upgraded from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps to support the CAVE.

The PRP project is supported by a five-year $5M grant from the National Science Foundation (#ACI-1541349) and has been led by researchers at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego with a partnership of more than 50 institutions. At UC Berkeley, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute lead the project, focusing on science engagement and connecting with faculty members who tackle scholarly challenges that the PRP could help solve.

The CITRIS Tech Museum in Sutardja Dai Hall on the north side of the Berkeley campus is open to the public on weekdays year-round from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm for free, self-guided tours. It is closed on campus holidays and for occasional special events; please call ahead at (510) 664-4301 to confirm availability if you are planning a museum visit.

The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute drive interdisciplinary innovation for social good with faculty researchers and students from four University of California campuses – Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz – along with public and private partners. Find out more at CITRIS-UC.org.

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Photo: Adriel Olmos