The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Art and Design has pioneered the development of the DomeLab, an interactive 3D audio-visual experience, in the hope to change the way data sets are viewed.
As part of the official launch of the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre, the university showed off the six-metre wide 4K projection with 16 curated art, science, and technology films. The imaging uses eight projectors and also features a surround audio system.
DomeLab creator and UNSW Art and Design professor Sarah Kenderdine, who claimed the DomeLab is the highest resolution dome in Australia, said while the projection is experimental, there is the potential of seeing it used in areas of medical visualisation, interactive media, and future museology.
"CEO of Intel Brian Krzanich said last year that we are no longer in a world of screens and devices, we're in a world of immersive experiences," she said.
"Designing and building large scale fully-embodied interactive systems is the future of visualisation, the future of public entertainment, and in a world of increasingly big data sets it is fundamental to have screen real estate."
She went on to highlight that one potential specific use case for the DomeLab in medicine would be for creating 3D medical images of the brain.
"We'd be able to layer MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans with statistical data, and fuse those different types of imaging. It also turns out that the reason why the dome is shaped in this way is it's the same shape as your head," she said.
Another use case could be showing off cultural heritage-listed sites, Kenderdine said, which could potentially be laser scanned before being transformed into a visual experience.
"The impetuous for a lot of the cultural heritage sites are under massive threats; we only need to look at Syria and sites like Palmyra to know how cultural heritage is used as a political pawn and a very strong weapon," she said.
Kenderdine added that in an era of big data, visual displays such as the one that the DomeLab offers will impact the way researchers view complex information. She noted that increasingly people are after large real estate on their screens to be able to visualise big data sets.
She also added that the DomeLab brings a social experience aspect into viewing information, unlike where today most people are interested in data while sitting at their desktops and are isolated from other people.