Knowing how to share, present, and effectively use “big data” as a strategic business tool can be a challenge. This problem is central to the field of Scientific Visualization. Entire conferences are dedicated to technologies and tools for leveraging data for scientific breakthroughs (i.e. IEEE Visualization). Visualization Centers are an important part of nearly every campus and can also be found in many large corporations. Many of our AV partners play a role in designing and building visualization rooms for education, government, and even business command & control. Turns out, a state-of-the-art center is within a bike ride’s distance from my office at the Center for Statistics and Visualization at The University of Denver.
The group at the Center for Statistics and Visualization take data from researchers at The University of Denver and works with them to build interactive information visualizations. In other words, they take a lot of data and put it into bite-sized pieces of visual content that can then be used for business or scientific research findings. The challenge of mapping important data into visual metaphors, that can assist science, is very interesting. Building and presenting this visual content requires a variety sophisticated displays ranging from 4k panels to immersive rooms. In the case of the University of Denver, they already had a large visualization wall composed of Prysm video cubes.
When I spoke with my friends over at DU, they were finding their Prysm video wall was limiting their collaboration and presentation sessions. With a team of people working on the same projects, they needed everyone to be able to share their content on the wall simultaneously. Their goals were lofty but reasonable. They wanted to allow any researcher to come into the center with a laptop, tablet, or smartphone and have the ability to stream content onto the visualization wall. After all, if researchers are looking for new ways to understand data – limiting what you can see to a single source at a time simply isn’t a good idea. They can now observe a breakthrough medicine in a 3D visualization of a protein displayed from a workstation while simultaneously viewed side-by-side with the output of an equation solver running on an iPad.
I just so happen to have the perfect solution for them
In late 2014 Mersive’s Solstice software was selected by The University of Denver to transform this Prysm video wall from a large single-use display into an interactive learning tool for wireless collaboration and visualization among students, instructors, and researchers. While we’ve worked with several universities to bring collaboration and visualization to the classroom through Solstice, DU is a little different.
The Prysm video wall is located in a flagship audiovisual collaboration area. The space and the wall are perfectly designed to showcase all the things Solstice brings to visual collaboration. It was fun to see how a large and impressive display could be transformed into something new once it became a “shared” resource. Once Solstice software was installed to manage the display, multiple users could then simultaneously connect and share content. Because the display hardware supported touch, users are able to drag-and-drop different sources from colleagues devices based on the flow of collaboration.
Then there is the sound, which brings an entirely new element to collaboration on the Prysm video wall. We programmed audio to follow the selected source with the in-room Crestron control system and utilized the sound reinforcement system. Now the audio element is there. The visual element is there. And the complete wireless media streaming element has come to life.
The setup at the Center for Statistics and Visualization is a great example of a unique and multi-faceted way to leverage Solstice in a meeting space. Congrats to the DU team, well done.