The cave (or iCube, as we’re told they would prefer we call it) is comprised of three white walls and a floor, all about 10′ x 10′ in size. Onto each surface is projected a high-resolution, stereoscopic image. A viewer stands in the room wearing polarized 3D glasses — like you might use in a 3D movie — with small markers that stick out a bit from the frames.
The markers are illuminated by IR LED floodlights located on the perimeter of the room, and IR-sensitive cameras use those positions to determine the precise location of each eye within the room. From those positions, stereo images for each projector are calculated and rendered on the fly, and the result is absolutely amazing.
We had heard about this technology before, but seeing is believing. Of course to get the real experience you need to physically be in the space, but you might enjoy living vicariously through David’s experience (click here to see the vid in HD instead):
WATG’s incredible hotel and resort work provide a superb example of the power of this tool. Why not let a client walk through their new resort before ground has even been broken? Take them into one of these and they’ll never settle for blueprints and a miniature model again.
Part of what makes this experience so wonderful is the lack of heavy, complicated headgear. The viewer is free to walk around, and the environment responds to their every move. There’s no training required or cumbersome technology to stand in the way of the content. But the effect doesn’t come cheap: you’ll need over half a million dollars and a lot of space to pull this off.
Now, how can we do something similar for pennies on the dollar?