The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) is using 46in 3D HD LCD monitors from JVC as part of its NexCAVE immersive visualization system. Short for new micropolarized panel-based cave automatic virtual environment, NexCAVE was demonstrated in prototype form in June at the University of California, San Diego, and the first full-scale version was recently installed at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.
The new NexCAVE design uses JVC GD-463D10U 3-D monitors, which are less than 2in deep. The basic setup includes 10 panels, a 3x3 matrix in a semicircle ring. The entire top row is tilted down slightly, and the bottom row is tilted up slightly. An additional monitor below the center column is angled up and positioned at about knee height.
NexCAVE was designed and developed by Calit2 research scientist Tom DeFanti, virtual reality design engineer Greg Dawe, project scientist Jorgen Schulze, and visualization specialist Andrew Prudhomme. In August, UC San Diego installed a 21-panel, 3x7 NexCAVE at KAUST. The system was developed as a result of a special four-year partnership established between UC San Diego and KAUST last year to collaborate on visualization research.
The NexCAVE system can be dismantled and packed for easy transport between venues, and can be configured in a variety of ways. The LCD panel-based system is also a fraction of the cost to construct when compared with projector-based systems. With no projectors, the system also practically eliminates time-consuming color balance and alignment adjustments that are required in older systems every time a projector lamp needs to be replaced.
The JVC GD-463D10U provides flicker-free 3-D HD images via its integrated Xpol polarizing filter. As a result, it uses inexpensive polarized (passive) glasses, which DeFanti prefers to more expensive, shutter-based 3-D systems.
NexCAVE is powered by COVISE software, which was developed at the University of Stuttgart and adapted by UC San Diego. The software synchronizes and controls the source material and the GD-463D10U displays, which do not require special hardware to play 3-D images.