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Start visualizing with the CIB IQ-Wall

Mar. 21, 2013

Imagine this. The content of your computer screen is spread across a 24 x 18 foot wall, tiled with 24 flat screen monitors that provide 10080 x 4200 pixels of resolution. You don’t have to scroll, resize, or click through multiple tabs to find what you need -- you just work. Sound too good to be true? Then check out the IQ-Wall inside the atrium of the Cyberinfrastructure Building (CIB).

IQ wall at IU's CIB

“This system isn’t reserved for high-ranking IT gurus," said Chris Eller, team lead for advanced digital arts and media within the AVL. "We want the entire IU community to take advantage of what it offers.”

Indiana University students, faculty and staff have full access to the CIB IQ-Wall by logging in with their IU network ID. With the ability to show the details and depth of any project, the tiled video wall boosts IU’s research and education potential.

Through pioneering technology, IU’s Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL) integrated hardware capable of running a multi-monitor system off a single Windows-based computer. This means anyone with an IU Network ID who can use a standard Windows machine will be able to comfortably operate the CIB IQ-Wall.

“It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the IQ-Wall’s size, but its ability to show small details within a much larger context makes it a great tool for everyone from graphic designer and web developers to engineers and writers,” said Chris Eller, team lead for advanced digital arts and media within the AVL. “This system isn’t reserved for high-ranking IT gurus. We want the entire IU community to take advantage of what it offers.”

The AVL is the main support unit for promoting, creating and maintaining visualization technologies at IU. The lab specializes in visualization displays and systems, software-based visual techniques, and advanced digital arts and media.

“We make it our mission to constantly push the limits of visual technology, which makes IU a really exciting place to be for students and researchers,” Eller said.

The AVL created the CIB IQ-Wall as a part of the Lab’s Distributed Visualization System Initiative, which features a family of advanced visualization systems produced from commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and open-source and commercial software. IQ stands for Inexpensive Interactive Immersive Interface, or I-Quad.

By running the IQ-Wall off one machine, the AVL not only makes it easily accessible for users of all skills levels, but also improves its environmental sustainability. Other institutions often run multi-monitor systems with computer clusters that work together to drive the array of displays in the video wall. By operating off a single computer, the CIB IQ-Wall requires significantly less energy to function and software doesn’t need to be re-written to work in a cluster environment.

While the CIB IQ-Wall may be the most impressive, it’s not the only tiled wall on the Bloomington campus. There are three other smaller IQ-Walls at IU Bloomington, including another in the CIB, one in the Herman B Wells Library and one in Informatics West.

The CIB IQ-Wall is available to the IU community Monday-Friday 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, with AVL team members on-site to answer questions and offer system tutorials. For more information you can contact the AVL at vishelp@iu.edu.

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