Projects: NC State’s Display-Filled Research Library Of The Future
June 3, 2013 by Dave Haynes
North Carolina State University’s James B. Hunt Jr. Library in Raleigh, NC is a new purpose-built environment designed to allow students and faculty to interact with top-of-the-line digital technology that furthers their research and education.
The school has a big online gaming program and the library has a series of massive video walls that use Christie’s MicroTiles, as well as projectors, and Spyder video processors.
“Our goal was to, figuratively, ‘blow the walls off’ the library,” says Maurice York, Head of Information Technology, NCSU Libraries. “This meant large-scale display visualization and content to create a truly collaborative technology incubator. In addition, the new central facility had to utilize open technologies, continuously repurposed, that could work for molecular dynamics one day and gaming that same day or next day.”
The project was put together by AVI-SPL and The Sextant Group, who determined MicroTiles was the primary way to go. “The school wanted the highest resolution and highest color depth displays, but space was at a premium and the technology needed to be versatile enough to fit into various rooms and be used for various purposes,” says design engineer Scott Frey.
Says the project’s press release:
Once the Christie MicroTiles were chosen, the project evolved into Christie projection systems and Christie Spyder X20 video processors as crucial solutions to achieving an engaging digital library. The projectors are now helping immerse students and faculty in creative and interactive environments that can be reconfigured and repurposed at any time. The Christie Spyder X20 processors ensure the full potential of the Christie projectors and MicroTiles walls are realized, with their ability to blend, window, mix, and scale any source format and then route the signal to any destination device or combination of display devices quickly and easily.
“Advanced digital display media make learning more accessible – even fun – to students and act as a catalyst for ideas, creativity, and problem solving,” said Kathryn Cress, vice president, global & corporate marketing, Christie. “At the Hunt Library, every pixel is dedicated to the students, with Christie playing a central role in bringing to fruition the groundbreaking concepts. We are proud to be part of this incredible project that takes a unique and creative approach to collaborative and engaging education.”
Christie visual display solutions in the Hunt Library:
– The iPearl Immersion Theater is used to showcase student exhibits, faculty theories and work, and to publicize speaking events to students and faculty on a 16-unit wide by 7-unit tall Christie MicroTiles installation lining a curved wall at the main pathway entrance.
– The Game Lab includes a 16-unit wide by 5-unit high MicroTiles display. Designed as a place for play, it also serves as a vital resource for advancement in the study of games and design experimentation on a large, high-resolution scale. A Christie Spyder X20 video processor gives users complete control over the displayed content.
– The Art Wall is a 15-unit wide by 8-unit tall MicroTiles wall located above the “ASK US” service point. Used to display photography and artwork of faculty and students, the Art Wall also features a welcome screen for visitors.
– Outside the Teaching and Visualization Lab is a 9-unit wide by 10-unit tall MicroTiles array configured in columns and separated by a wall. Used to display artistic video pieces and animation, the wall also displays what takes place inside the lab, which features 10 Christie Mirage DLPstereoscopic projectors as part of a 270-degree immersive environment with seamless, blended images. A Christie Spyder X20 video processor controls the content.
– Inside the Creativity Studio, two Christie Mirage WU7K–M 3D projectors and four Christie DHD800 projectors have been installed and are displaying impeccably clear visual presentations by both students and faculty.
– A 4-unit wide by 4-unit tall MicroTiles array acting as a Creative Sandbox for a variety of uses.
– A 400-person Lecture Hall is fitted with two Christie Mirage projectors – lighting up one of the largest campus screens. Christie Twist™, a solution that enables full image warping and advanced edge-blending, ensures perfect pixel alignment onto the curved projected surface. A Christie HD7K-J projector was installed in a separate, 100-person meeting room.
Christie Is Central to Library’s Success
The completed James B. Hunt Jr. Library has been a unanimous success at NC State, with faculty, students, and visitors in awe of the stunning visuals and technology. The university has achieved its goal of creating an iconic space where students and faculty from all disciplines can collaborate on new ideas, experiment with technology on a large scale, engage through course work and research, and showcase their work in a big way.
“I have worked with Christie for a very long time and for every major project I turn to them for the reliable and quality performance I know I can count on,” said Frey.
“Christie has been central to the success of the Hunt library, helping us to redefine a space and create a true visual environment, rather than just simply fill up a screen,” concluded York.
So … I’m not a gamer. But it’s a safe guess that any 18 year old kid trying to make decisions about where to go for postsecondary training on gaming technology is going to walk into this lab and get very giddy.