Blacksburg, VA (May 7, 2015)—Initially a black box performance space, the Cube at Virginia Tech has been reimagined as an immersive data exploration environment supported by audio technologies from Harman’s JBL Professional and BSS Audio.
Reportedly the world’s first full-scale (50-feet wide x 40-feet long x 32-feet high) big data exploration facility, the Cube opened at Virginia Tech on January 30, 2015. The four-story, $15 million theater and high-tech laboratory uses powerful motion capture and visual environment technologies, specialized acoustics, real-time audio visual rendering and high-performing computers to create a virtual environment laboratory that allows scientists to model and explore data in sonified, virtual form.
The Cube is an adaptable space for research and experimentation in big data exploration, immersive environments, intimate performances, audio and visual installations, and experiential investigations of all types. Acoustics, audiovisual and 3D audio systems in the Cube were conceived and designed by Arup. The facility is located in the Moss Arts Center and shared by the Institute for Creativity, Arts and Technology (ICAT) and the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, and features audio technologies from HARMAN’s JBL Professional and BSS Audio. This environment can also be used by composers and other artists to explore the creative discipline of spatial sound.
The Cube features an array of technologies, including virtual and augmented reality (head-mounted display and tablet interaction interface); wave field synthesis and highly directional sound interaction; synchronized data capture, including information retrieval motion capture; audio/video, physiological and interaction signals; and real-time audio/visual rendering.
The sound system comprises 124 JBL SCS 8 spatially cued surround coaxial 8-inch loudspeakers wrapped around the walls and ceiling of the Cube in various resolutions. The JBL SCS 8 is a wide coverage loudspeaker that can be positioned in any number of ways and was developed for spatial sound installations. At the backbone of the routing system are three BSS BLU 806 networked signal processors with Dante and BLU Link connectivity.