Token of Appreciation

By Anna Lynn Spitzer

Irvine, Ca, March 13th,2013 -- Spinoff success story Hiperwall Inc.’s CEO wanted to say “thank you” to Calit2 for the institute’s many years of nurturing and support. So the company, which had incubated in the Calit2 Building from the time it incorporated in 2008 until its move last December into a 6,000 square-foot Irvine headquarters, recently donated $10,000 to Calit2 to advance visualization research.

The saga began in 2004, when Calit2@UC Irvine researchers secured a $393,533 National Science Foundation grant to build a tiled display wall for visualizing massive data sets. Over the next year, the project took shape in the Visualization Lab on the second floor of the Calit2 Building.

Hiperwall Inc. founders Jenks, Kim and CEO Greenburg credit Calit2 with helping the company succeed during its early years.

It was unveiled in the summer of 2005 – a 23x9-foot, 50-screen display, which allowed researchers to view their data as a single, full-screen visual or as a series of smaller images displayed simultaneously for comparison purposes.

At the time, the Highly Interactive Parallelized Display Wall – HIPerWall, as it was known – was the world’s highest-resolution grid-based system, providing a total resolution of 200 million pixels.

HIPerWall quickly became a boon for researchers and a popular destination for visitors to the building. Its creators, recognizing the presence of a commercial market, started Hiperwall Inc., with CEO Jeff Greenberg at the helm.

Co-founded by former electrical engineering and computer science professor Steve Jenks and postdoctoral researcher Sung-Jin Kim, both of whom developed the middleware and software for the distributed computing and rendering display system, the company quickly added to its product line and customer base.  

The Hiperwall system is now installed in hundreds of locations around the world. It uses proprietary technology and an easy-to-use interface to transfer data from any laptop or desktop PC directly to a wall of monitors, which can be installed in any size and configuration. The system is “hardware agnostic” and can be used with LCD, plasma, CRT or rear-projection displays and an everyday Ethernet network. The company’s clients have utilized it in a wide range of applications, including command-and-control rooms, airports, trading floors, aerial imaging, education environments, medical and scientific imaging, and more.

“Business is going well,” Greenberg said. “We’re hiring more people and we’re working to open an overseas office. We are grateful for all the support we received from Calit2 over our formative years and we wanted to give something back.”

Calit2 Irvine director G.P. Li called Hiperwall Inc.’s growth “a perfect example” of Calit2’s ongoing efforts to facilitate the technology-transfer commercialization process.

“Going from a research project to a startup that incubates in our building to a successful company exemplifies Calit2’s mission,” Li said. “Translating academic research to commercial applications is vital for a strong national and state economy, and Hiperwall is a great example of a company that’s done it right. We are thrilled with Hiperwall’s success and appreciate very much the donation for visualization research.”