University installs 5-sided, 4K VR CAVE

Aachen University's Virtual Reality Group recently slid open the door to its new virtual reality CAVE environment. Anna Mitchell steps inside the aixCAVE, a five-sided, 4K active stereo VR tool.

The Virtual Reality Group falls within the Center for Computing and Communication at Aachen University. It aims to provide a wide range of university departments with visualisation tools to support, enhance and further research into topics, ranging from mechanical design to neuroscience.

The university has built a respected name for itself in simulation science and the latest asset in the department’s futuristic toolbox is aixCAVE: an enormous, immersive reality environment, claimed to be the biggest of its kind in the world. The product will eventually take over the full workload of an existing CAVE, supplied and installed by Barco in 2004.

The original hardware solution had been supplied and installed by Barco, who in this instance acted as integrator and equipment supplier. The university eventually opted for this solution again, but handled all the software to process and display visual and audio content themselves. This was how the department had managed the original CAVE installation so with that knowledge already in-house it was the obvious way to continue.

Barco provides a complete design and build service for CAVE environments under the brand I-Space. It integrated a five-sided CAVE powered by 24 Barco NW12 Galaxy projectors, with four firing on to each wall and eight firing up to the floor. Each wall measures 5.25m in length and stretches to 3.3m in height. Rear-projection was used for the floor to create a uniform image with the walls and avoid shadows caused by front projection.

Look out for a detailed write-up in the October issue of InAVate. If you don’t already receive the magazine then register free here.

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