At Inter Bee 2016, I stumbled onto the Sphere 5.2 by Wonder Vision. This display setup is designed to be an immersive display which provides a half-sphere projection surface for any kind of imaging content, whether it is video or real-time 3D. The experience was very enjoyable.
The Sphere 5.2 is designed to be easily put together and dismantled, making it very convenient for tradeshows for example. However, nothing prevents it from being a semi-permanent installation in malls or other public venues. The Sphere can be mounted for front-facing view, but it’s also possible to have it setup in bottom-view, if content creators want users to feel like they are looking down.
Spectators need to sit near the center of the hemisphere, which means that space is somewhat limited. Typically, there would be room for two people, and that’s how I tried the ride myself. For this demo, Wonder Vision had setup a hydraulic seating which would simulate motion from the “ride” that we were in. The demo was a fly over, helicopter-style.
Surprisingly enough, the hemisphere doesn’t require specially distorted video, and all the content was just regular wide angle planar video, which was projected on the hemisphere by projecting onto a curved mirror. I looked for distortions during the demo, but if there were any, they were too subtle to be an annoyance. That said, the content was expansive landscapes and things would probably distort if you had a video with a lot of straight lines (cityscape).
Nevertheless, this was a fun attraction and it could probably work for several entertainment applications such as flight sims, rides and VR-content.
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