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New Immersive Theater Demonstrated At ASTC

Silicon Graphics and Silicon Optix jointly demonstrated a new Immersive Theater configuration at the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) conference this week in San Jose, CA.

SGI® Reality Center® technology has powered over 701 Immersive Theaters worldwide in Science & Research, Manufacturing, Energy and Education. This technology is fast becoming the standard for science center exhibits all over the world. Powerful SGI® visualization systems coupled with more affordable high end projectors and new display technology innovations from Silicon Optix, are a winning combination to provide a cost-effective Immersive Theater solution specially targeted to the museum exhibition market. The small footprint and its ease of construction also provide a high degree of flexibility and portability. 

The ASTC Immersive Theater has been built in a 20′ x 20′ enclosed environment. It consists of a 135-degree curved cylindrical screen with a 10′ radius and a 6′ height.  Three 3000 Lumen DLP projectors provided more than sufficient illumination for the relatively small size of the theater, which can seat an audience of up to 30.  Three Silicon Optix Image AnyPlace-BEXÔ units provide screen shaping, scaling and digital edge blending. 

SGI® Onyx® 350 with InfiniteReality4â„¢ graphics and scalable system architecture — allowing centers to start smaller and expand as their needs increase — provides the processing power and brings unsurpassed graphics quality to science museum exhibits.  A new innovative screen design consisting of a plastic material mounted upon curved forms and covered with a specially formulated screen surfacing material completed the radical new theater design.

Steve Wood, VP and GM, Systems Business, says, “Immersive Theaters have long been the domain of large scale AV installations.  The Immersive experience has always been an expensive one to create – that is until now. This partnership with SGI and their experience in bringing the latest discoveries to museum goers will allow such theaters to be built in every city around the world.” 

Afshad Mistri, SGI’s Director of Marketing, says, “SGI and Silicon Optix are playing an increasingly larger role in helping science centers and museums change the paradigm of what information they present and how they present it. These learning centers have a choice of Reality Center environment configurations, and this successful demonstration with Silicon Optix illustrates that an Immersive Theater experience may be achieved for significantly lower costs than previously thought, while still maintaining high quality.”