Jian Chen, computer science and electrical engineering, received a $360,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to build π², a hybrid-reality system that can project 3D images in order to display and interact with data. Chen and Karl Steiner, vice president of research, spoke to The Daily Record about the project.
The π² system is to be constructed over the next year and will consist of high-resolution, floor-to-ceiling LCD panels. Chen explained that the screens can display images in 3D when used with special glasses. “That freedom of movement is part of what separates the hybrid-reality system from virtual-reality systems that use bulky headsets,” the article reported. “The headset isolates the user from the physical world; the π² display will multiple users to move more freely.”
The system seeks to make comparing and interpreting data easier and can be used in a variety of ways, including studying biological systems, data related to student success, woodland ecology, and unmanned aerial vehicle design. Steiner also shared how π² could help his own research on surgical training, saying, “The goal is what I like to call a flight simulator for the surgeon.”
Read “Immersive ‘hybrid reality’ system coming to UMBC” in The Daily Record.