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DomeLab is the first ultra-high resolution (4K) experimental fulldome in Australia. It is a unique, low-cost display system integrating technical innovation in computing power and graphics capabilities with aesthetic innovation in content delivery. This project is a collaboration between 15 investigators from 11 organisations whose pioneering research is at the forefront of new media art, new museology and digital humanities. DomeLab will be used to explore 3 themes: Interactive Media, Future Museology and Experimental Humanities, through 9 projects. As a mobile system it will be located in 3 cities and 7 institutions in the next 3 years.
DomeLab is an immersive, dome-based video projection environment 6m wide, horizontally suspended over users and filled with interactive real-time or pre-rendered content. It has a projected resolution of 4K (4096 x 4096 pixels) and consists of a lightweight, powder-coated aluminium geodesic frame. Using negative pressure technology the screen is made from 2 sheets of welded PVC. A pump is used to create a perfect hemisphere. Eight projectors and four+one high-end workstations with dual graphics processing units drive the projectors in concert with a surround audio system using 5.1. The hardware configuration allows seamless edge blending and geometry correction of the eight projected images across the dome. It is specifically designed for rapid assembly and comes complete with transportation road cases.
Despite the fact that experimental fulldome is emerging as a significant new medium worldwide, there is still no facility for fulldome digital media research in Australia. DomeLab addresses this deficit, providing advanced immersive visualisation opportunities for researchers to contribute to the field internationally.
DomeLab foreshadows researchers’ needs and paradigmatic shifts underway in visualisation frameworks. Digital media and humanities researchers are experimenting with a range of augmented, mixed and virtual reality technologies and large-scale video displays in conjunction with emergent digital practices. Museums are increasingly directing their attention to next-generation immersive and participatory experiences. Similarly, serious game researchers recognise that immersive visualisation can more effectively engage with pressing social problems.
DomeLab responds to this growing demand with its flexible hardware matrix and software data-flow framework, offering researchers pathways to much needed, higher-level visualisation outcomes. Through DomeLab, a framework for enhanced experience and deeper understanding will be developed that extends conventional models to facilitate engagement in more complex information spaces. This system will advance new frontiers in immersive visualisation, intelligent interaction and networked experiences for interactive media, museology and digital humanities research.
DomeLab networks this research alliance through the national research services AARNet and Intersect's Research Data Storage Infrastructure, extending pioneering research in aesthetic frameworks and frontier technologies to benefit artistic, cultural, museological and humanities researchers.
Prof Sarah Kenderdine (UNSW) | Prof Michael Thielscher (UNSW) | Prof Martin Nakata (UNSW) | Dr Shawn Ross (UM) | Prof Paul Arthur (UWS) | Prof Ross Gibson (UC) | Dr Stefan Greuter (RMIT) | Prof Paul Bourke (UNSW) | Prof Christopher Lueg (UTAS) | Prof Jeffrey Shaw (CityU) | Drew Berry (WEHI) | Timothy Hart (MV) | Margo Neale (NMA) | Dr Lynda Kelly (ANMM)
Laboratory for Innovation in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (iGLAM), UNSW | iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research, UNSW | University of Western Sydney | University of Canberra | Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology | University of Tasmania | City University of Hong Kong | Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research | Museum Victoria | National Museum of Australia | Australian National Maritime Museum | AARNet | Intersect Australia
Participate in Domelab
Over the next five years DomeLab will run workshops, festivals and tour to partner venues in Australia, open to wide range of GLAM sector and academic/student groups. Details will be advertised through the NIEA website.