Press Release

Christie 3D/VR Display Technology Used In World’s First Virtual Aquarium

Taiwan’s “Waters of the World” Museum Features Custom Christie Advanced Visualization Solution

CYPRESS, CA – (September 28, 2006) – Christie, a leading provider of visual solutions for business, entertainment and industry, is pleased to announce it has established the world’s first virtual aquarium at the National Museum of Maritime Biology and Aquarium (NMMBA) in Taiwan. Known as “Waters of the World”, this new-generation, waterless museum is powered by a complete Christie TotalVIEW™ VR solution used to showcase life-sized 3D visuals of rare and extinct aquatic life.

Taking more than two years to build at a cost of US$84.4 million, the 4,100-square-metre (44,100-square-feet) “Waters of the World” exhibition hall features four thematic areas: the Polar Region, the Kelp Forest, the Deep Sea and the Ancient Oceans. Showcasing live marine displays of this magnitude previously would have been impossible.  However, using life-like virtual images combined with lighting and sound techniques to re-create marine life in the polar, deep sea and pre-historic oceans, the NMMBA is able to offer these incredible simulations.  The aim is to fully immerse visitors in an entertaining and educational, “fable-like”, multi-sensory experience.

With Christie’s extensive experience in developing immersive displays, the company and its Taiwanese partner, Dacoms Technology Co Inc, was appointed by VSprite –  NMMBA’s official system integrator – to install and integrate a complete Christie TotalVIEW visualization solution. More than 40 Christie DLP® projectors are used throughout the museum to project the meticulously designed, computer-generated graphics in the walk-through tunnels.

Christie’s visualization solutions at “Waters of the World” include:

• Viewers are transported back to the Mesozoic period (about 245 to 65 million years ago) for a close-up experience of the ancient underwater world and understanding of the nature and lifestyle of Liopleurodons, Plesiosauras and Asteroceras.  This incredible experience is the result of 5.1 Surround Sound audio combined with six Christie DLP® projectors edge-blended to display near life-sized images onto a 11.5 x 3.75-metre (37.7 x 12.3-feet) screen in a 100-seat, 3D marine theatre located in the Ancient Ocean area.

• Within the same exhibition area, visitors are also introduced to oceanic life from other different geologic timelines using various 3D visual projections.

• In the Polar Region exhibition, a Christie TotalVIEW display system is used to bring to life visuals of polar inhabitants such as penguins, polar bears, whales and many more.

• Through the three-walled virtual tunnel in the Deep Sea exhibit area, visitors can have an up-close-and-personal look at a virtual sperm whale and various luminous deep sea creatures.

• An image of a mythical giant sea squid is front projected onto a fog screen. Incorporated with artificial intelligence, visitors can interact with the projected visual. When “touched”, the sensor sends signals for the giant squid to swim away, squint ink and even disappear into the ocean.    

• To enrich marine education for children, the exploration area with an interactive game powered by Christie projectors stimulates children’s creativity and imagination in navigating the depths of the ocean.

“The partnership between our National Museum and Christie has produced a visualization solution that revolutionizes immersive applications for museums of the future,” says Chiang Hai, Researcher, NMMBA. “The Christie 3D solutions retain the realism of the displays and resurrect rare and extinct aquatic life in the form of stunning, bright, high-fidelity 3D visuals.”
   
“We are thrilled with the Museum installation as this is a first-in-the-world attempt to recreate a massive ‘waterless’ aquarium with such outstanding results. We are pleased to have collaborated with Christie and Dacoms on this project,” comments Ben Tsai, VSprite Tech Co., Ltd.

“The NMMBA is truly an amazing facility and a world showcase for what technology and strong partnership can accomplish. Teamed with our partners at DACOMS and powered by market-leading Christie technology, a stunning 3D visual environment has been created which provides a unique first-person educational experience,” remarks David Fluegeman, vice-president, Visual Environments, Christie.

The NMMBA is the world’s second largest underwater museum, illustrating a successful build-operate-transfer (BOT) project in which private developers design, finance, construct and operate revenue-producing public projects before turning them over to the community at the end of a specified period. Annually, the NMMBA attracts at least two million visitors and is Taiwan’s most important center for marine displays and education.

About Christie

Christie is a leader in visual solutions for world-class organizations, offering diverse applications for business, entertainment, and industry. A leading innovator in film projection since 1929 and a pioneer in projection systems since 1979, Christie has established a global reputation as a total service provider and the world's single source manufacturer of a variety of display technologies and solutions. Christie offers comprehensive solutions for cinema, large audience venues, control rooms, business presentations, training facilities, 3D and Virtual Reality, simulation and education as well as industrial and government environments. Christie solutions are used in over 75,000 locations worldwide, including more than 10,000 projectors and displays networked with ChristieNET™ networking devices. For more information, visit www.christiedigital.com