L-shaped’ installation at ENISE demonstrates potential of what can be achieved with interactive, immersive, virtual reality displays
A unique installation at the National Engineering School (ENISE) in Saint-Etienne, France, is enabling students to gain a new take on visualization techniques, thanks to a 3D solution from Norway’s projectiondesign®.
Conceived, designed and installed by systems integrator Immersion, the system uses projectiondesign F12 1080 DLP® projectors and INFITEC™ stereo 3D hardware. Each projector is built into a custom-made rear-projection housing so that they are physically ‘locked’ into position. The projectors fire directly onto a vertically mounted, 2-meter wide Stewart rigid rear-pro screen, and onto a custom-built mirror and horizontal Stewart ‘table’ screen setup.
The result is a unique, seamless ‘L-shaped’ projection surface that gives viewers a greatly enhanced three-dimensional impression of whatever image is being displayed. This in itself is a notable achievement, but the project is unusual in other ways, as Gabriel Soubies, Professional Services Manager, Immersion, explains:
“As well as the 3D stereoscopy, the system features tracking cameras from NaturalPoint, a 6D 35-45 Virtuose haptic arm from Haption, and software from Techviz which creates stereoscopic images from the various design platforms used by ENISE – this could be CAD software such as Solidworks or Catia, or any other design software.
“As far as we know, this is the only ‘L-shaped’ immersive display system to make use of INFITEC stereoscopy, and we are the very first company in France to incorporate Natural Point tracking into a professional system – something we could only achieve after extensive technical tests.”
Immersion won a competitive tender in the first half of 2009 and, having successfully commissioned the fully integrated system in early 2010, Gabriel Soubies says the choice of projectiondesign was not a difficult one for his engineers to make:
“The criteria for this project were very strict and there was no way that we could use ‘ordinary’ projectors. We contacted several manufacturers, explained our specific requirements and waited to see what kind of solutions they could offer. We chose projectiondesign for a number of reasons: they make the best single-chip DLP projectors we have ever tested; they have long experience of working with INFITEC technology; and they are willing to customise their projectors to meet the needs of a particular project. A valuable set of assets with our unique and often complex solutions.
“In the end, they supplied us with projectors that were modified to fit our requirements and colour-calibrated using projectiondesign’s unique RealColor technology, without any compromise in the quality and ruggedness we have come to expect from the company.”
projectiondesign’s Thierry Ollivier, who recently relocated to a new office in Bordeaux to be closer to the French market, comments: “The work of Immersion is typical of the value projectiondesign can add to projects when manufacturers and integrators collaborate closely. The ENISE installation really pushes the boundaries of what can be done with interactive, immersive, virtual reality displays, and we are sure that it is only a foretaste of what is to come, not just in France but elsewhere too.”
projectiondesign and Immersion recently collaborated to demonstrate their mutual capabilities at the 12th Laval Virtual virtual technology exhibition in Paris during April. They will join forces again at the forthcoming Dimension 3 Expo for 3D image creation and display in Paris from June 1st – 3rd, 2010.