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Check out the Allosphere at California NanoSystems Institute, UCSB

The Allosphere

We have reports from a couple of Foresight members who have toured the Allosphere, part of the California NanoSystems Institute at UC Santa Barbara, and it sounds truly impressive. From their website:

The AlloSphere, a 30-foot diameter sphere built inside a 3-story near-to-anechoic (echo free) cube, allows for synthesis, manipulation, exploration and analysis of large-scale data sets in an environment that can simulate virtually real sensorial perception. It is a physical place designed to facilitate creativity and incubate ideas via collaboration. Researchers find a multitude of interactive interfaces for research into: scientific visualization, numerical simulations, data mining, visual/aural abstract data representations, knowledge discovery, systems integration, human perception, and many other areas of inquiry.

The main research/presentation space consists of a three-story, near-to-anechoic room containing a custom-built close-to-spherical screen, ten meters in diameter. The sphere environment integrates visual, sonic, sensory, and interactive components…

Scientifically, it is an instrument for gaining insight and developing bodily intuition about environments into which the body cannot venture: abstract, higher-dimensional information spaces, the worlds of the very small or very large, and the realms of the very fast or very slow, in fields ranging from nanotechnology to theoretical physics, from proteomics to cosmology, from neurophysiology to the spaces of consciousness, and from new materials to new media.  [emphasis added]

If you can wrangle an invitation to see this, it’s definitely worth your time. Their site says that “members of the general public” are informed by the Allosphere, so there should be a way to get on the tour list.   See also the recent article in Technology Review, costs $2.  —Chris Peterson

7 Responses to “Check out the Allosphere at California NanoSystems Institute, UCSB”

  1. flashgordon Says:

    with nanomanufacturing, we could do so much better that this . . . why not just use virtual reality? Why do they have to build all that?

    I suppose this could be worth a train ride!

  2. noname Says:

    flash gordon you just do not get it. this is for 30 user full body immersion, not virtual reality but reality we are talking about a fully prepared near to anechoic chamber with no standing waves, which means in this space you can take the mathematical equations which are all frequencies and vibrations and simulate it as though you are really there for multi users, NOT VIRTUAL REALITY,but REALITY proper fluid dynamics (the vibrations of phonons = quantum mechanics) as though you are really in the medium, this cannot be done in a virtual reality. This instrument is in the Nanosystems Institute which means it is working with NANOTECHNOLOGY taking the equations from the nano tech experiments and shrinking the user down to be part of the experiment, really flying as a nano particle with fluid dynamics into a blood vessel and through these simulations allowing nano resaerchers to fabricate quicker = VISUALIZATION-SIMULATION-FABRICATION so please flash gordon get you facts atraight!!!!!!!

  3. Bert James Says:

    So, using this nanotechnology setup, medical scientist could actually see how various medications or whatever are reacting with and upon the human cell as they have never been able to before?

  4. Trent Says:

    Apart from being an attraction in itself then, who is actually using the Allosphere and for what particular research right now?

    Also what is the cost to any particular research team or dept to get extended use of the Allosphere and how effective as a research tool is it in it’s current form?

  5. Charlie Says:

    Sounds like a very unique attraction, but the research implications are a bit beyond me, so I would only be going for a visit to see the technology and how it is applied. Since nanotechnology has so much potential and will soon become a household word, it seems worth a visit to learn more.

    I will definetly put it on my list of things to see, when I go back to California next year.

  6. Giovanni hoal Says:

    Thats a place to be with all that nanotechnology thing it sounds icredible.

  7. Jason Williams Says:

    If nanotechnology will prove to be more than an attraction and can go beyond experimentation stage and become a household phenomenon, then there may be something about it worth spending time, money and energy for.

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