Crisp Stereoscopic LCOS Image Projection Enables Scientists to View 3-D Computer Graphics of Molecules and Complex Chemical Compounds
Beyond its occasional use for Hollywood movies, stereoscopic 3D image projection can provide a powerful and effective means of communicating complex visual information for science and industry. High-resolution systems capable of such display, however, tend to be large and expensive. One corporate AV specialist, however, recently discovered a smaller, more affordable, and yet high-resolution alternative for providing stereoscopic 3D image projection for his company. Tony DeFrancisco, AV Manager at AstraZeneca R&D Boston, harnessed the imaging power of a pair of Canon's new Realis SX50 Multimedia Projectors — featuring SXGA (1400 x 1050) resolution — to provide effective and compact 3D image display for the company's research facility in Waltham MA, one of nine research and development centers operated worldwide by the pharmaceuticals giant.
"Most of the 3D systems out there are packaged units, and the system that we had before wasn't capable of the resolution that we needed," DeFrancisco explains. "We went to one 3D vendor and they wanted $60,000 for their system."
Necessity and Invention
DeFrancisco needed a high-resolution means of displaying 3D computer graphic renderings of complex molecular structures created by the scientists at AstraZeneca R&D Boston. He sought an alternative to the costly stereoscopic 3D image presentation systems currently on the market. He also required a system that was compact, easy to operate, and affordable.
"I went out and did some research and found this gem — the Realis SX50," he recalls. The world's smallest and lightest LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) projector, Realis SX50 features 2500 ANSI lumens, 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a Canon zoom lens, and patented AISYS (Aspectual Illumination System) optical technology. "I bought a pair of Realis SX50's and mounted them in a unit I had, a special frame that calibrates the projection so it overlaps at just the right distance. There's also a little interface box that works with the computer outputting the 3D image; it gets the signal to the projectors in the right format. Our scientists create 3D graphics of chemical compounds and molecules using computer software. Then they bring those files to the AV room, put the 3-D glasses on, and view the stereo images.
"Realis SX50 was the right projector at the right time for our needs," DeFrancisco continues. "This custom stereoscopic 3D image display set-up with the two Realis SX50's has definitely impressed the scientists, which is my goal. Realis SX50's make a sharp, clear picture and the lumens are there, so it's a bright picture too. We have optimum lighting in our AV room, which is no light at all. And we have a 3D screen, so the images really show up well with our setup. If Realis SX50 was lacking in any way our AV room would show it, but the projector does exactly what I was looking for. And I think the biggest selling point of the Realis SX50 is its size. It's a very compact unit, and if you have to travel to make a presentation you can just put it in a case, take it with you, and really wow people with these high-resolution images."
Canon's proprietary AISYS optical technology is key to the Realis SX50's projection power, enabling it to achieve both the high brightness of 2500 ANSI Lumens and a contrast ratio of 1000:1 while also reducing projector size. AISYS fully maximizes the performance of LCOS technology, which has major advantages over traditional projection methods. These include higher (SXGA ) resolution, seamless imagery, enhanced performance on motion images, and crisp, clear display of text.
The Realis SX50 projector is completely designed and manufactured by Canon. The projector weighs only 8.6 lbs/3.9 kg. and features a genuine Canon high-performance 1.7x optical zoom lens that can project a 100-inch image on a screen from 9.8 feet away. A native SXGA resolution data projector that can accept a wide variety of digital and analog computer-display formats, the Realis SX50 can also accept DVI video and all major component, composite, and S-video inputs; it can also display true 16:9 720p HDTV images.
The Realis SX50 It also features Multiple Image Modes that provide a wide range of options depending on user needs. These Image Modes include four Color-Preset Modes, which are designated as Standard, Presentation, sRGB, and Cinema. A Dynamic Gamma Correction mode is included for optimum contrast balance, and the Realis SX50 also offers Six-Axis Color Adjustment to fine-tune tone and contrast adjustments on both RGB and CMY color axes. Colors can be matched and adjusted with great precision for a wide range of professional applications, including those of science and industry. The Realis SX50 has a list price of $4,999.
"With the scientists using their specific applications and programs, they're getting a lot of use out of our custom stereoscopic 3D image display set-up," DeFrancisco concludes. "With its two Realis SX50's it makes for a great presentation. And if you're looking for something different, to catch people's attention, it definitely does that."