Mount Royal University Riddell Library's Immersion Studio

Applied Electronics Inspires Creative Visual Learning with the 360-Degree Immersion Studio at Mount Royal University’s Brand New Riddell Library and Learning Centre


Mount Royal University’s (MRU) newly constructed 170,000-square-foot, four-storey   opened its doors to students and the general public in September 2017. The state-of-the-art library facility in Calgary, Alberta has raised the bar for educational facilities with its innovative active reading/study space, numerous study rooms, collaboration spaces, visualization labs, media creation suites, and archive storage/processing space.

One of the most unique spaces created for learning at MRU is the Immersion Studio, located on the third floor of the library. This dynamic studio is an experiential and immersive resource for teaching, learning and research, and it provides fascinating opportunities for faculty and students to learn and understand, regardless of discipline or topic of study.  Accommodating 15-20 people at a time, the Immersion Studio can also be used for virtual reality experiences using the Library’s Oculus Rift equipment.

Working from an application framework provided by MRU and Engineering Harmonics consultants, Applied Electronics designed, supplied and completed the integration of the 360-degree interactive display solution for the Immersion Studio in spring 2018.

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The 986-square-feet (116 x 8.5 feet) Studio is equipped with 10 blended Epson laser LCD projectors with ultra-short throw lenses that display a single or multiple images or digital media from one or multiple sources up to 360 degrees on a canvas along the perimeter of the room. The ultra-short throw lenses enables users of the space to have the freedom and flexibility to move around the room without casting a shadow on the projected image. Three (3) projectors are used on the long walls and are blended up to 50%, while two (2) projectors are used on the short walls and are blended up to 30%.

To create a true interactive compositing space, a Christie Pandoras Box image processor is used for image blending and real-time video processing, which can scale with the scope and complexity of the user’s creative potential.

A professional grade sound system augments this experience, while user interaction and workflow is simplified with the use of a Crestron control system that centrally controls all the room media systems from a wall mounted touch screen control panel.

The space can be used with or without the low moveable seating provided and is meant to facilitate fully immersive photo and video viewing and virtual reality experiences.

MRU faculty and department heads are currently developing content – from immersive journalism experiences, to in-house field school adventures, to the exploration of historic architecture or the inside of a heart – and testing it in the Immersion Studio before implementing it into their respective course outlines for the fall term of the 2018/19 academic year.

Students also have the freedom to create their own images using the Library’s 360-degree camera, work with their own existing content, or seek assistance in finding the right information and resources to be used in this venue.

MRU Library's Immersion Studio will be ready for use by its students and faculty starting in fall 2018, and will be available for booking by faculty, students, staff, and the community.

 

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