With a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation,
Kaufman and his colleagues are working to construct a unique facility that will
surround a user with very high-resolution images. Reality Deck will allow users
to immerse themselves in images, such as a doctor who wants to see the inside
of a patient’s colon or future movie-goers who want to try the latest
in interactive super-high-resolution entertainment.
“Imagine putting together a class photograph of the citizens
of the United States,” Kaufman says -- all 300 million of them. It’s
in the realm of possibility with his gigapixel display format (1.25 billion
pixels, to be precise). If you just took the population of New York State --
at about 20 million -- you’d have enough pixels per person to identify
At least two dozen applications are already being considered
by other Stony Brook investigators as well as off-campus research teams. For
now, Reality Deck is a construction project, as Kaufman and his team set to
build the scaffold and work with display manufacturers to get the appropriate
The 11-foot tall structure will incorporate 308 30-inch LCD
displays and wrap around a 30x40-foot room. Images will be generated or funneled
by more than 150 graphics processing units embedded in 85 servers.
Kaufman says users won’t need a mouse or game controllers,
but can interact with the panoramic display more naturally, using gestures and
voice commands. To zoom in, for instance, someone need only walk closer to the
point of interest.