Friday’s April 17th Visualization Forum will discuss DiVE’s upgrades


April 17th  Noon – 1pm
D106 LSRC · West Campus

Open to the public

Regis Kopper & David Zielinski · Duke DiVE

The DiVE (Duke immersive Virtual Environment) came online at Duke in 2005. Thanks to an NSF instrumentation grant we have recently completed a large hardware upgrade of the DiVE. We will discuss the new upgrades and how this will improve the user experience. We will then discuss several of our projects that we have presented at conferences in the last year (landscape archeology, training fidelity, visual persistence, and sonifications cues), along with several ongoing projects.

DiVE Officially re-opens!

The DiVE officially re-opened on Tuesday April 14th! We would like to thank everyone who came to its opening and look forward to seeing all the new faces that will be coming from here on out.DiVE Grand OpeningDiVE Grand Opening 3

DiVE Re-opens on April 14th

 The DiVE’s new face-lift

DiVE Perspective

For the last six months, the Duke immersive Virtual Environment has undergone its first significant set of renovations. The newly remodeled DiVE will officially open to the public on Tuesday April 13th at 4:00pm in the CIEMAS building, room 1617A. Thanks to a Major Research Instrumentation Award from the National Science Foundation, the DiVE’s renovations will provide industry-leading service for years to come. We are confident that the recent installations will augment our collective sense of reGlassesality beyond that which we might generally encounter. For one, the newly installed system generates 1920 x 1920 pixels on each wall (versus the original resolution of 1050 x 1050pixels). With almost four times the number of pixels, we will surely notice a greater amount of detail then we would have before.

     Projectors All 2These new implementations can be attributed to the newly installed Christy WU7K-M projectors[1]. In order to generate a higher resolution image, each wall has two projectors working in unison. These projectors are simultaneously generating the same image, blending the overlap zone between them as a means to increase the output resolution. The DiVE supports multiple platforms—including C, C++ (through CCG), MATLAB, AVIZO, and Unity—which minimizes future compatibility issues.

      In addition, the newly installed projectors allow us to precisely align the seams of each corner—making it increasingly difficult to detect breaks in corners. As a result of these upgrades, students and faculty can now make out the finer details of projects that were undetectable before. And thus, we can now use the DiVE as a visual tool for scientific data and be more confident about our empirical observations.

[1] For projector specs:

Congrats to this year’s FIP International Year of Light Student Winners!

International Year of Light PicOn March 8th 2015, The DiVE was showcased for the first time since the recent renovations at the International Year of Light Conference. We would like to congratulate this year’s FIP International Year of Light Student Winners: Kapila Wijayarante (1st Place Winner), Sam Migirditch (2nd Place Winner) and Niranjan Sridhar (3rd Place Winner)!

We would also like to take the time to thank all participants. Your efforts has helped us raise global awareness about how light-based technologies raise solutions to global challenges in energy education, agriculture and health.


DiVE on NPR – Virtual Reality Opens New Worlds


Researchers at Duke University are using a virtual reality center to test experiments that aren’t feasible in the real world.

It’s called the Duke Immersive Virtual Environment, or the DIVE, for short. In reality, it’s a cube. Six sides. You get inside. Images are projected on each wall. With the help of special goggles, the images become an immersive 3-D world. A special wand allows you to interact with the world.

It has applications for everything from psychiatry, to the mining industry, and even creative writing.

One of the simulations is of a kitchen. Whoever enters is asked to find a pair of keys. The sound in the room increases in intensity and volume as the simulation continues. A car starts beeping, a pot boils over and creepy violins play in the background.

Regis Kopper is the  director of the DIVE and part of the Pratt School of Engineering. He says the kitchen simulation is a good example of how the DIVE can be used for psychological experimentation.

“This environment was used in an experiment exactly to examine how people would get stressed in a virtual environment. There are actually no keys here,” he says. “The idea is as you hear all this background noise… the idea was to see if people would start getting stressed by examining the skin conductance, the heart rate and all that.”

The great thing about the DIVE is programmability. No matter what your specialty, you can probably come up with a use for it. Kopper says researchers are working on adapting a mining simulation for the DIVE. Mining’s a pretty dangerous profession, and it’s safer to train in a virtual environment than the real one.

There are even applications for something like creative writing. David Zielinski, software engineer for the DIVE, says that MFA students at Duke use it to create virtual worlds.

“That’s another example of the cross disciplinary work we’ve done,” he said. “You can create realistic training environments in here, but you can also be more imaginative and not be limited to creating structures that can even feasibly exist.”

There is another draw to the DIVE. It can help attract people to science. You can’t find these things everywhere. Kopper says there are only about 10 to 15 in the United States. Every Thursday, the DIVE holds an open house where anybody can come.

The DIVE has a variety of practical applications, but it’s also just plain fun. Most tours end with a ride on the virtual roller coaster. It’s thrilling, and, other than the lack of wind rushing past, almost as good as the real thing.


Date: April 16th, 2013
Time: 10:45am-noon
Location: CIEMAS Building, Room 1131Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 10.03.56 AM

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