The powerwall was officially put into operation at the Department of Computer and Information Science, Konstanz University, in May 2005.
Developed by the Belgium company, Barco, the powerwall is to date one of the most modern large projection display systems in Europe with a display area of 5.20 m x 2.15 m. The display area is a rear-projection system lit by 8 high-performance projectors, which synchronizes a perfectly adjusted homogenous picture and produces almost nine million pixels – more than eight times more than a normal computer monitor.
This opens up completely new perspectives in the area of visual data exploration, an area of expertise at the department, which involves the detection of relations in large information spaces. This means, for example, that in the analysis of election results, customer data or stock-exchange prices, no reduction of aggregation of data is required in comparison to previous monitors; data can generally be displayed in its entirety. In addition, there are numerous other areas of application for the powerwall in both research and industry. The wall enables lifelike images of landscapes, buildings, either real or imaginary. As sharp and as large as this was previously impossible. This is interesting for biologists who want to observe life-size body cross sections in detail. The wall is also of interest to car manufacturers who like to inspect the new models in their original size.
More detail on the history, installation and application of the powerwall is provided below.
The way to the powerwall from purchase order to final approval and installation at the University of Konstanz.
Planning and realisation of the high-resolution projection system began in August 2004 under the leadership of Mr. Christian Panse. Click here for more pictures.
After successful approval in Belgium the powerwall was transported to the University of Konstanz and installed under the highest safety measures in the room especially erected for the purpose. More pictures of the installation process can be found here.
What is a powerwall? What is it for?
The powerwall has a large rear projection surface of 5.20 m x 2.15 m which is illuminated by 8 networked and synchronised projectors. Thanks to the high resolution of 4640 x 1920 pixels and the soft-edge blending that provides an overall picture with no overlapping, it is possible to picture large quantities of data down to an extreme level of detail.
Areas of application
The powerwall can be applied in a wide range of areas, including data exploration and visualisation for the Department of Informatics or in cooperation with industry (e.g. car manufacturers). Further areas of interest are controlling, simulation, marketing analysis, traffic control systems, medicine and bioinformatics, for example. Examples of pictures can be found here.
This project brought out the excellent teamwork among all the people involved and was denoted a complete success at the opening ceremony on 11 May 2005. Rector Prof. Dr. Gerhart von Graevenitz commented on the positive development of the Department of Information Science and the Assistant Director Dr. Knorr from the Ministry of Science, Research and Art in Baden-Württemberg praised the exemplary development of the area of focus of "Data Exploration and Visualisation" at the University of Konstanz.
Some useful links related to the powerwall:
Barco (Barco company)
Barco V&AR (Barco company, Virtual & Augmented Reality division)
The Powerwall in the Media