Seeing the Big Picture of Data

Create: 01/03/2018 - 17:03
CineMassive Stanford HIVE

Photo: Stanford University

Stanford University has built a digital video wall like no other. With support from SAP, the university created the HANA Immersive Visualization Environment (HIVE) system. It was set up to accommodate Stanford’s cluster of 30 Linux-based PCs and to allow researchers working at different work stations to push content to the wall. With this impressive video tool, researchers can see, study and solve problems in every realm of knowledge, from biology to cosmology and from engineering to art.

The interactive wall, which is open free of charge to all Stanford University students and professors, features a 10 ft. by 24 ft. wide display, with a 13440 x 5400 resolution. It contains 72 million total active pixels.

Finding the Right Video Solutions Partner

In exploring who would be best to implement the technology for the video wall system, Stanford reviewed several options. The university decided upon CineMassive, a solution provider headquartered in Atlanta, GA, that configures video wall solutions to support critical U.S. military operations. CineMassive created a video display and big data solution tailored to the needs of Stanford University’s extensive list of research programs.

Stanford HIVE CineMassive

Photo: Stanford University

CineMassive provided a curved CineView LCD video wall composed of a 7x 5 array of 55″ displays. A multi-HD display canvas was created with the help of an additional column of displays within the CineView structure, fully accommodating the cluster of Linux PCs. Within the HIVE, the viewer feels as if they are in a small move theater. The only difference—rather than having one screen displaying a single image—is that the system has multiple screens that can each be programmed to display different images adjacent to one another.

From Cardiology to Art to Explosives

The university is using the HIVE for a variety of projects, including:

  • A simulation of the formation of the early cosmos, created by the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
  • The Stanford Virtual Heart, an immersive and interactive virtual reality experience focused on congenital heart disease
  • Detailed, 360-degree views of Michelangelo's sculpture of David, created by Marc Levoy, the VMware Founders Professor of Computer Science and of Electrical Engineering
  • A simulation of the structural damage inflicted when an improvised explosive device explodes under an armored personnel carrier, a presentation narrated by Charbel Farhat, who is the Vivian Church Hoff Professor in Aircraft Structures at Stanford and the director of AHPCRC

Margot Gerritsen, director of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME) and associate professor of energy resources engineering at Stanford, described the necessity for the video wall system in a recent statement.

“Researchers are creating tremendous amounts of data through computations, simulations, measurements, sensor readings and so forth," Gerritsen said. "A laptop screen doesn't do that justice. We have to have a way to visualize data in ways that allow us to see the big picture and also zoom in on the detail.”

With the help of the CineMassive video wall technology, Stanford researchers have a tool that gives them the ability to collaborate with ease and explore new innovations at previously unheard-of-levels of clarity. They have given the adage of “seeing is believing” an IoT-forward spin, to seeing is understanding.

Discover Collaborative Visualization Technology

  • Check out the current research and demos at Stanford HIVE.
  • Learn the basics of CineMassive’s video wall systems and explore its library of visualization technology resources.

Schools Turn to Digital Signs to Captivate Students

Create: 11/10/2017 - 12:03

Photo: Alpha Video


A solution provider looking for opportunities in IoT needs to search no further than the digital sign market. The technology is now proven, and new levels of interactivity are creating ways to put signs to work in any market, including retail, hospitality, entertainment, banking and education. 

Emerging standards make it easier to mix and match components, supporting solutions that are more cost-effective to implement and manage. With end-to-end bundles, a solution provider with limited technical expertise can enter the digital signage market and sell a fully supported, turnkey solution to a customer and amplify margins by providing ongoing management services.

What used to be a huge stumbling block in selling digital signs in education—high acquisition costs for supersize screens and hardware—has all but disappeared as prices continue to drop in 2017.  An increasing amount of education institutions are installing digital signage to communicate information to students and their parents in a more accessible and timely manner.

For solution providers, the growing market offers enormous opportunity, both in installation and managed services. According to multiple research studies, including one conducted by Markets and Markets, the market for digital signage in 2020 could potentially be valued $23.76 billion.

The Digital Campus Communicator

Digital signage has a valuable and specific niche, especially for educational institutions in K-12. Schools that depend solely on paper communications and audio-based announcements often have gaps in communication between campus administrators, parents and students.

Alpha Video digital signage

Photo: Alpha Video

According to solution provider Alpha Video in Eden Prairie, MN, those communication gaps can include the following:

●     Extensive paper waste. Flyers can physically pile-up and are often not read when there are too many on bulletin boards, inside school mailboxes or forgotten inside students’ backpacks.

●     Delays for breaking news. Students and teachers may not be notified right away about breaking news from external sources, and intercom announcements are not always audible during passing periods.

●     Delays for campus-specific announcements. Safety is unfortunately an ongoing risk at schools. Information relayed by a campus intercom only works well during times of low hustle and bustle, but schools are notoriously noisy environments. 

From Motion Graphics to Messaging

Alpha Video notes that schools can use digital signage to display static announcements, dynamic videos, breaking news from external data sources, RSS feeds and updated schedules. Educational facilities that use digital signage are finding new ways to captivate audiences in the classroom, cafeteria and around campus.

This technology can be incorporated throughout a campus depending on the physical layout of the campus, number of sites of high foot traffic, overall size of the campus and the total number of students, teachers and campus administrators. Potential content for the digital signs includes bell schedules, breaking news from external sources beyond the campus, academic and upcoming holiday calendars, safety precautions and videos.

Sites for installing and incorporating digital signage in schools often include:

  • Entrance/exit lobbies
  • Cafeterias
  • Gyms or other assembly spaces
  • Hallways and locker areas
  • Classrooms.

The ABCs of Digital Signage

See how Alpha Video is using digital signage in education or learn more about the technology in its digital signage solutions, including Alpha Video’s own CastNET content management software. Unleash the power of digital signage solutions from Intel and see how customers use the Intel Digital Signage Kit. 


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