ICT Takes Part in the USC Libraries’ Collecting the Cosmos Exhibition

Published: January 28, 2014
Category: News

A capacity crowd at the USC Libraries recent Visions and Voices event Collecting the Cosmos got to experience some out-of-this world technologies developed at ICT’s Mixed Reality Lab (MxR).
Attendees explored the terrain of Mars 3-D with a 3-D printed, immersive viewer that turns an iPad into a portal for entering virtual worlds. This DIY viewer, combined with software developed at the MxR Lab in collaboration with the USC School of Cinematic Arts, enables people to navigate a detailed stereo model of the Mars Gale Crater, finding points of interest and unique facts provided by NASA. Images behind this experience were provided courtesy of JPL-CalTech MultiMedia and NASA/JPL-CalTech.
They also were able to walk outside the International Space Station with Spacewalk, an interactive experiment where players take on the roles of astronauts navigating and exploring the structure of the space station. Created by Richard Emms, an MFA candidate in USC’s Interactive Media program, Spacewalk began as a class project using MxR’s open-source HMD designs and it is now compatible with the Oculus Rift.
“USC Libraries is a great organization that has been really interested in new media and technology capabilities, said Julia Kim, ICT’s project director who organized ICT’s participation in the stellar event. “We users of the Internet are used to things like Google and Wikipedia, but I think those tools just scratch the surface of how people will do research and learn new things in the future. We are really excited to continue to work with USC Libraries to try out new ideas and see what works.”
ICT’s 3-D printed iPad viewers remain on display in USC’s Doheny Memorial Library’s through May 31, 2014 as part of the Collecting the Cosmos exhibition, which showcases creative ways to visualize and conceptualize the heavens.
“Most of us can’t go to space yet, said Kim. “Hopefully these demos from our Mixed Reality lab provide a taste of the future.”