Mechdyne Partners with Scalable Display Technologies on VR Solutions

Mechdyne Partners with Scalable Display Technologies on VR Solutions

Mechdyne Corp. has standardized Scalable Display Technologies’ projection mapping and edge-blending technology to streamline integration.

Mechdyne and Scalable installation at the Planetarium California Academy of Sciences

A 75-ft. dome with technology from Mechdyne and Scalable Display Technologies immerses visitors at the Morrison Planetarium.

“Scalable is part of the magic in our virtual reality solutions. We’ve integrated Scalable into a variety of different projects, including a recent immersive system with multiple projectors on a multi-surface wall and an immersive entertainment solution with a curved screen displaying content from multiple projectors,” said Nate Mayotte, engineering supervisor for Mechdyne. “Our systems are unique because we’re not optimizing the displays for a single view. For example, 3D glasses have a tracking system, so the content on the screen is geared towards the perfect view for the person wearing the glasses. Our systems are optimized for every person in the room, rather than a single person standing in a specific location.”

Mechdyne has a long-standing relationship with Scalable—dating back to the companies’ inception in the late 1990s. The core innovation used in Scalable’s technology was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the 1990s by Dr. Rajeev Surati and thesis advisor Dr. Tom Knight, Jr.

“I noticed Dr. Rajeev Surati’s Ph.D. work in projector edge-blending,” said Kurt Hoffmeister, co-founder of Mechdyne Corporation. “The concept of projection edge-blending and warping was an area that we were very interested in. We arranged to meet with Dr. Rajeev Surati and his team at Scalable nearly 20 years ago. At the time, the only available solution that came close to Scalable’s technology was available from one or two projection manufacturers. It was an external hardware box that was built specifically for a brand of projectors. The technology was very limited.”

“Our systems are high-visibility, high-profile and high-stakes,” added Mayotte. “Scalable gives us the confidence to know that our complex systems can support various computers, video cards and projectors. We know that the software that runs in the middle is flexible enough to allow us to do what we need to do, especially from a design perspective. We can design complex systems and add items into the light path or add mirrors to the system, and we can confidently say we have a solution to deal with the typical alignment challenges.”

Scalable produces software that automatically calibrates images’ color, intensity, and geometry from multiple projectors—resulting in a single, seamless digital display. “An important feature in Scalable’s technology is the ability to recalibrate with a single click or automate the recalibration to schedule on a predetermined basis,” explained Mayotte.
“Scalable’s recalibration technology eliminates the time and resources necessary to calibrate multiple projectors manually. Their technology is very precise. It’s an essential feature because many of our systems have a complex light path. Our designs are very intricate and the light path can be affected by a curved screen, mirrors in the middle of the path, or other elements that change the traditional linearity of the images. We have built a lot of trust in Scalable’s technology and a strong relationship with the technical team.”

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