The Reality Deck is located in the third floor of the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology, the first building situated at the Stony Brook University Research and Development Park. The facility is hosted within a purpose-built room, designed within the HVAC requirements necessitated by the displays. It is adjacent to a dedicated server room that hosts the Reality Deck visualization cluster.
The Reality Deck is comprised of 416 Samsung S27A850D LCD displays. The displays have been extensively customized to reduce their bezel width and install a mounting framework for attachment to the Reality Deck structure. With each monitor driven at its native resolution of 2560 by 1440, the combined resolution of the Reality Deck exceeds 1.5 billion pixels. Effectively, the Reality Deck is the world’s first gigapixel resolution display and offers multiple times the resolution of other tiled display systems.
An 18-node visualization cluster provides the rendering backbone for the Reality Deck facility. Each node features dual Intel Xeon CPUs, each with 6 cores, as well as 48 GB of RAM and 1 TB of local storage. The nodes are interconnected over Infiniband and Gigabit Ethernet. Every machine contains 4 AMD Firepro V9800 GPUs that can drive up to 6 monitors at their native resolution. Effectively, each cluster node can drive up to 24 monitors for almost 90 megapixels of visual space.
The Reality Deck enables a number of interaction modalities that are unique to the facility. A user can “zoom” in on the data by walking up to a display and pan by simply turning his head. The overall context is always preserved as the data is not clipped and remains visible on the immersive display surface. Additionally, the vast available workspace (approximately 30′ by 20′) provides ample room for multi-user collaboration. To this end, we have installed a state-of-the-art tracking system from NaturalPoint and a touch-enabled Microsoft Pixelsense table. Sound is also an important component of the Reality Deck experience. The Reality Deck will feature a 24.4 positional audio system with Genelec speakers.