StarCAVE Takes Home an Immy Award

San Diego, Calif., Nov. 17, 2010 — UC San Diego’s StarCAVE virtual reality environment took home the first-ever Immersive Technology Award for Research and Education at the recent Immersive Technology (ImTech) Summit held at the Los Angeles Center Studios.
Calit2's Greg Dawe
 Calit2 Virtual Reality Design Engineer Greg Dawe, who helped build the StarCAVE, poses with the Immy award.    

"Immersive technology" refers to software and devices that blur the barrier between the physical and digital worlds, thereby creating "immersive" experiences. The five-sided, 360-degree StarCAVE, which is based at the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), earned more than 4,000 votes in ImTech’s online competition, beating out competitors such as the Allosphere at the University of California, Santa Barbara; the Second World Immersive Future Teaching (SWIFT) at the University of Leicester; the Virtual Lap Band at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the SimHub at the University Center of Greenville. 

Todd Margolis, technical director for Calit2’s Center for Research and Computing in the Arts (CRCA) accepted the award on behalf of Calit2 and also gave a presentation during the “Visionaries” segment of the Summit. “I am very proud to be associated with the pioneering and innovative force at Calit2 and CRCA,” he said. "The StarCAVE marks an important step in the future of virtual reality."

"The Immy Awards make several powerful statements about immersive technology today," said Nathan Makino, CEO of ImTech, a non-profit think tank created to promote the development and adoption of immersive technology in the public interest.. "First, they testify to the remarkable diversity within immersive technologies - and we all recognize that we're still in the early going. They also showcase the stature of those driving these technologies - individuals and organizations that are at once global and local, entrepreneurial and of the enterprise."

The Calit2 Star CAVE
The Calit2 StarCAVE is the highest-resolution, best-contrast passive stereo (and audio) projection surround system.
The StarCAVE is the highest-resolution, best-contrast passive stereo (and audio) projection surround system. It operates at a combined resolution of roughly 68 million pixels (34 million pixels per eye), distributed over 15 rear-projected wall screens and two down-projected floor screens. On each wall, the screens are stacked three high, with the bottom and top trapezoidal screens tilted inward by 15 degrees – for a feeling of maximum immersion, while reducing the ‘ghosting’ common to many stereo projections.

In addition to the awards ceremony, Immersive Technology Summit 2010 featured an assortment of interactive exhibits, including the hamster-ball Virtusphere, a brain-computer interface from BCINET and augmented reality applications from Total Immersion, Metaio, Zugara and Ogmento. This year's event was the first of what will become an annual conference, with focused seminars and special events held throughout the year.

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