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 IU Trident Indiana University

UITS Research Technologies

Cyberinfrastructure enabling research and creative activities


The IU Advanced Visualization Lab (AVL) facilities are provided as an integrated university-wide resource by the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology. The purpose of these facilities is to help the IU community exploit advanced visualization technology to enable more innovative and impactful research, education, creative activity, and community engagement. The facilities are available at no direct cost to qualified IU faculty, staff, and students. The Lab offers a variety of technologies, available for routine use, testing, and demonstration. Most of these technologies can be utilized or demonstrated in centrally-located AVL spaces. Some, particularly the IQ family of displays, are conceived as "hardware recipes" and can be used to build visualization systems that are quite flexible and cost-effective, and have been, or could be, geographically dispersed throughout the campuses or community. The Lab also manintains a library of cutting-edge consumer technologies available for loan.

Centrally-located AVL facilities & staff are located on the IUB and IUPUI campuses.

* Bloomington campus (IUB map); IU Technology Park East

* Indianapolis campus (IUPUI map); Informatics & Communication Technology Complex

To reserve any of the AVL facilities, setup an initial project consultation, discuss a potential engagement activity, or schedule a tour, please contact us.

Spherical Displays

Science on a Sphere

Science on a Sphere (IUB)

Science on a Sphere (SOS) is a spherical display that uses a computer and four projectors to create a seamless image on a globe nearly 6' in diameter. SOS was built and installed by NOAA. IU's SOS is located in the atrum of the CIB building on the IUB campus. AVL and its collaborators are using the Sphere to display a variety of scientific and information visualizations and to incorporate into digital art and other interactive experiences.

Science on a Sphere

Puffersphere (IUPUI)

Puffersphere is IU's newest spherical display. It features a smaller footprint than SOS that allows it to more easily move between buildings or campuses as well as a multi-touch interface to facilitate new forms of collaboration and interactive exploration.

Multi-User Virtual Reality & Large-Format Stereoscopic Displays

Virtual Reality Theater

Virtual Reality Theater (IUPUI)

A bright, high resolution immersive virtual reality technology suitable for individual and group use. The Theater is reconfigurable and driven by workstation computers running either Windows or Linux. 

Virtualization and Collaboration Theater

Visualization & Collaboration Theater (IUB)

This three-screen, front projected display offers either stereoscopic or monoscopic high-definition visualization and presentation capabilities for up to 60 people. 

Individual Virtual Reality & Small Group Stereoscopic Displays

Head Mounted Displays

Head Mounted Displays (IUB, IUPUI)

The AVL maintains and makes available HMD hardware as well as comprehensive software workflows for creating and deploying virtual reality experiences. The Lab's primary HMD is the Oculus Rift but other mobile VR platforms are available. The Lab offers training and assistance as well as limited licensing opportunities for using the Unity Engine. This combination of Rift hardware and Unity software lowers the barrier of entry to creating immersive experiences.


IQ-Station (IUB, IUPUI)

Low-cost stereoscopic display with optional user interface components including touchscreens and/or input device tracking. A fully equipped Station is most suitable for scientific research groups while simplified versions are excellent for stereoscopic screening and production as well as conferences and outreach events.

Ultra-High Resolution Tiled Walls

Display Wall

Ultra-High Resolution Display Wall (IUPUI)

Built using 8 high resolution projection cubes totaling 15.3 million pixels, the Display Wall is capable of receiving input from multiple sources simultaneously, making it ideal for teleconferencing, group collaborations, and/or multiple highly advanced visualization applications. Similar to the IQ-Walls, it is driven by a single computer.


IQ-Wall (IUB)

The IQ-Wall is an AVL design that tiles thin, energy efficient flat-screen monitors into configurations that meet the requirements of the users and the space. These Walls are driven by a single Windows computer. The AVL has integrated several IQ-Walls, but the premier unit is located in the lobby of the CIB and features 24 tiles and nearly 50 million pixels.

Multi-Touch Displays & Tables



The IQ-Tilt features 4 monitors tiled together in a 2x2 configuration. This nearly 100" display is treated as one Windows desktop driven by a single computer, and multi-touch enabled. Its name comes from the fact that this display pivots on an axis and can be reconfigured in less than ten minutes into either horizontal table or a vertical wall positions.



A 55" monitor equipped with 32-point multi-touch capabilities, the IQ-Table is ideal for building lobbies, libraries, or off-site exhibits. It's built-in computer and shipping case make it easy to ship, setup, and teardown.

Haptic Interface Systems


IQ-Force (IUPUI)

The IQ-Force is an open design created in 2011. It features a table-top device that combines stereographic rendering with physical force and tactile feedback. Allowing the user to see their real hand in the same physical vicinity as the virtual simulation provides a more natural sense of scale, orientation, and augmentation.

Digitizing Devices & Services

3D Scanning

3D Scanning and Digital Object Preparation (IUB, IUPUI)

AVL staff maintain knowledge and have established workflows broadly related to object and environment scanning. The Lab owns and operates multiple 3D scanners which can be used in AVL facilities or loaned out. Complementing the scanning process, and often utilized in preparation for digital fabrication (i.e. 3D printing), Lab staff are well versed in converting and manipulating all types of digital 3D models. 

Advanced Media Capture Equipment

Advanced Media Capture Equipment

Advanced Media Capture Equipment (IUB, IUPUI)

The AVL maintains a variety of media equipment. A high-end, professional stereoscopic camera rig is capable of filming authentic productions. Video captured with this rig can be edited using software available to all IU students, faculty, and staff. The Lab’s Gigapan robot can be used to automatically capture multiple 2D photographs of a scene or environment. Once the individual photos have been composited together, users can interact with the final panoramic image via web browsers. The Lab also has THETA cameras capable of capturing 360 degree images and videos with a single click. These images and videos look great in an immersive head-mounted display.