Stony Brook University Receives NSF Grant to Design Revolutionary “Reality Deck”

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Stony Brook University Receives NSF Grant to Design Revolutionary “Reality Deck”
One-of-a-kind ‘holodeck’-like virtual reality theater will have more than a billion pixels for life-like immersion into data to be explored and manipulated
STONY BROOK, N.Y., July 13, 2010 – Stony Brook University received a $1.4 million National Science Foundation grant to build what its creator described as the closest thing in the world to Star Trek’s “holodeck.”

The Immersive Giga-pixel Display will be a 40′ x 30′ x 11′ high room in Stony Brook University’s Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology containing 308 LCD display screens.

Known as the “Reality Deck,” the Immersive Giga-pixel Display will be a 40′ x 30′ x 11′ high room in Stony Brook University’s Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) containing 308 LCD display screens driven by an 85-node graphics computing cluster that rivals the performance of modern supercomputers. And while it will not be quite the simulated reality environment found on the starship Enterprise, it will fully immerse visitors in 1.25 billion pixels of information, approaching the visual acuity of the human eye, according to the project director, Arie E. Kaufman, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department and Chief Scientist at CEWIT.
The $1.4 million grant, which will be matched by $600,000 from Stony Brook for a total of $2 million, is for three years. Dr. Kaufman said he expects the Realty Deck facility to be constructed in about a year.
“What a wonderful validation of the cutting edge research going on in imaging at CEWIT,” said President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D. “This support from the NSF will help us break new ground in a number of critical areas including advanced medical imaging.”
Dr. Kaufman calls the Reality Deck a “unique tiled display environment…with more than a billion pixels that can provide a life-like, realistic immersion into the data …

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