After looking into a rear projection setup or a short throw setup, we decided to go with a short throw projection setup. This is because it will be more durable, structurally sound, and have a smaller foot print. Because of this we think it would be better suited for Sci-Tech’s needs.
A Short Throw setup would mean creating a structure that is roughly 12′ x 15′ and mounting the projectors on the top of the structure to projection onto the interior walls. We will use a Dolby Atmos sound bar setup for our audio outputs and the entire system will be ran off a PC. This setup will be very similar to the previously posted sketch, but we will have more detailed designs to come.
The team spent the past week coming up with designs for the CAVE and we have some great ideas for the CAVE. We will spend the next week trying to dig deeper and get a better idea of the equipment and materials needed to make this experience happen.
Upon researching the idea of HMD VR experiences we have discovered that most manufactures of VR HMDs suggest that the user be 13 years or older. This has caused quite the issue with our idea of using a HMD VR because of the fact that the experience is for a children’s museum and a large percentage of the users could be under 13 years of age. We have also found that the CAVE could be a bit of an issue with the cost. It has been found that the CAVE is a budget heavy experience, and can run up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. So the team is looking into developing and making a “budget friendly” CAVE.
Today we met with our friend from Sci-Tech, Rick, and had a very good brain storming and idea generating meeting. We are continuing our research on VR and an immersive environment cave. We have a pretty good idea of the costs and performance comparison for VR, but still have plenty of research to do about the immersive environment cave. We are looking into attending the Virtual Reality Society kickoff at UT Dallas to get a better understanding of the equipment and software.
The Next Gen S.T.E.M. team has been working on trying to pick the best option for the virtual reality project. We’ve narrowed it down to a couple of options. We are between doing a VR experience with either a stand alone headset such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, or using a cell phone/cell phone compatible headset combination. With this it would allow for multiple uses of the VR experience and the ability to change the experience the users will have. The other option we are exploring is making an environment with surround displays/TV’s with surround sound as well as the introduction of other elements. Almost like an IMAX experience or other amusement park experience where multiple senses are used in the experience, only on a smaller scale. Right now we are just in the process of determining the feasibility of these project ideas. There will most certainly be more to come
Next Gen S.T.E.M. has been working hard and doing some brain storming. We’ve been coming up with some great ideas for the VR experiment. Some of the ideas have been a “4-D” experience using a VR headset, with this experience you will be immersed into another “world” with the ability to move around and explore, all while feeling the elements of the environment. We have also been exploring the idea of using large touchscreen monitors to allow multiple children to enjoy the experience together. That is just a few of the ideas stewing up and there will be plenty more to come.
On Friday September 15th The Next Gen S.T.E.M. team took a short field trip to the Sci-Tech Discovery Center. It was a really awesome place for kids to go to and gain some knowledge while having fun. It was also a huge help for us to go and see the potential area for our project to call home. We also gained some inspiration for the project, as far as aesthetics go, in order to prevent the project from looking out of place. Overall it was a fun and informative trip!!