ANAHEIM, CA (SIGGRAPH 2013) July 23, 2013 - Christie is not a familiar name to CAD insiders. Wall sized displays, super high resolutions, usually 3D ones. CAD users just don't see much of that.
Christie's Larry Paul, Senior Director of Technology and Visualization, was able to broaden our horizons -- starting with the world's largest touch screen and ending with the world's smallest CAVE (computer-aided visualization environment).
The company added a frame to an 84" panel that can show four times full HD, and at twice the frame rate of consumer UHD TV sets. It uses infrared technology to sense up to six fingers at once. Whiteboard software lets us place and size images, and then draw over with finger-paint like motions. Mr Paul showed us how he could make the sketched lines fatter and thinner by using wider and thinner parts of his thumb. Standing a yard (meter) away from the giant screen felt like the screen was the wall.
Next door was the wall, against which an enormous projector (the size of a shopping cart) was displaying a huge image. It even had its own smoke stack for releasing heat. That's our second-largest model, says Larry. It was hooked up to four specialized workstations that were rendering automotive models in realtime 3D. The resolution of the Christie projector is the new 4K standard (4096x2160), because, you know, hi-def (1920x1080) just isn't high enough anymore. Anyhow, the full spec is 4K resolution at 120Hz (60Hz for each eye). Wear active shutter glasses and the car can move by in subtle 3D, depending on how the content is formatted.
The final star in the booth tour was the HoloStation, designed as a turnkey installation, and available for purchase - as long as you are in North America. Christie is reluctant to give price information, but will say "typical configuration can cost between high $200K to low $300K." It uses four Christie LCD projectors to display a 3D image onto five orthogonal surfaces. When we stand close, wearing polarizing glasses and holding the remote control, we can walk through a CAD-designed apartment, pick up and move chairs. HoloStation reads 3D models from CAD programs, converted into OBJ format. the entire setup is designed to fit into an office elevator.