The StereoView Room, located in room A400 of the Chemistry Building,
provides state-of-the-art stereoscopic viewing of 3D images on
the seminar screen.
|The StereoView Room seminar screen|
The StereoView Room is equipped with active (LCD) and passive (polarized) CrystalEyes eyewear. When used with active eyewear, the projector switches the display between a right-eye view and the left-eye view at a rate of 60 times per second. Meanwhile, the active eyewear receives a signal from infrared emitters mounted in the ceiling, which causes the eyewear to make transparent the LCD lens in front of the eye for which the display is intended. At any instant, only one eye is allowed to see the screen, but since the switching is extremely rapid, the viewer feels as if both eyes see the screen simultaneously.
When used with the passive eyewear, the projector again switches the display between the the left-eye view and right-eye view. A filter in front of the projector circularly polarizes the light generating the left-eye view in a "left handed direction" and right-eye view in a "right handed direction". The passive glasses also have filters, which only allow "left handed" light to pass through to the left eye, and "right handed" light to pass through to the right eye. Both eyes see the screen at all times, but each eye sees a different view.
Most viewers find that the active eyewear provides a slightly brighter view of the screen, and adjusting to active eyewear is faster (this latter point is attributed to the plastic frames of the active eyewear, which is more rigid than the paper frames of the passive eyewear and therefore sits more square upon the viewer's face). However, the cost of the active eyewear ($600/pair) and the fragile nature of LCD lenses makes passive eyewear a much more practical choice for a seminar environment.
The default projection mode in the StereoView Room uses passive eyewear.
Molecular models can also be displayed on a variety of other computer systems, including the 41 Silicon Graphics workstations located throughout the Chemistry Building. Also, web browsers can access many internet sites which provide tools for viewing molecular models, including internet sites within the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University. However, the resulting image displayed by these computers is still viewed on a two-dimensional screen---there is no true perception of three-dimensional depth. For many chemists, learning from these two-dimensional representations is comparable to learning to sculpt using only pencil and paper.
The StereoView Room provides a new, state-of-the-art facility for combining the effectiveness of hand-built models with the efficiency of computer-generated models. Contact the MolViz Facility Staff to arrange a demonstration of how virtual reality is applied to chemical instruction and research in the StereoView Room.
Access to the StereoView Computer Room is available by contacting Frank Gao. Members of the IU community or others interested in arranging a demonstration of the StereoView Room should also contact him.