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Not your father’s CAVE

At Igloo Vision, we’ve been a trailblazer in democratising the availability and use of shared immersive spaces. Our goal has always been to bring our immersive technology within the reach of any organisation, in any sector, anywhere around the world. And, powered by our content-agnostic and flexible Immersive Media Player, our shared immersive spaces are tools that can be used by anyone.

Now, we’ve applied the Igloo philosophy to CAVEs - so, rather than being available only to institutions with the deepest pockets, or the most accomplished onsite technicians, we’re offering solutions that are far more usable, accessible and affordable.

But first - what exactly is a CAVE?

The CAVE, originally, was a product of the 1990s academic community. And it was put together by idealistically-minded academics who wanted to deliver the most realistic possible experience using the best possible components.

The word CAVE itself is an acronym for Cave Automatic Virtual Environment. It’s also a clever reference to the allegory of Plato’s Cave (which explores the nature of perception, reality, and illusion).

Typically they:

  • Are cube-shaped
  • Use extremely high-resolution projectors
  • Have projection on the walls, floor, and ceiling
  • Use rear-projection on the walls
  • Feature head-tracking and 3D glasses for the main user and 3D glasses for anyone else

Given their heritage, CAVEs have tended to be complex, costly, inflexible systems. Typically they run from clusters of servers, with one GPU per projector, and patch-in multiple other components. Consequently, the workflows tend to be complex and they have very specific use cases.

The Igloo CAVE is different

We’ve designed a standardised, elegant, user-friendly solution that is much easier to use, much more flexible, and much more affordable - so it’s much more attainable for any organisation.

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With an Igloo CAVE, everything is run from a single box, the Igloo Immersive Media Player (or IMP for short). We’ve done away with complex clusters, and there’s no need to patch-in other technologies or components. So it has fewer potential points of failure, and is far easier to maintain and operate.

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An Igloo CAVE will generally be around 10% or 20% of the cost of a conventional CAVE, since you don’t need to purchase multiple media servers, extra components, and nor do you need to spend as much on maintenance.

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The Igloo CAVE is designed so that anyone could get started - it doesn’t need a full-time, dedicated expert to run it. For example, Igloo Home is a user-friendly interface reminiscent of a smartphone screen that anyone can use to trigger software and content.

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While traditional CAVEs tend to be single-use systems, for specific organisational teams or academic departments, an Igloo CAVE (like our other immersive spaces) can provide benefits for a wide range of users, because it can be used to access any digital content, from any source.

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Compared to traditional CAVEs, the Igloo CAVE offers smoother workflows to get your 3D models into the space, thanks to an ever-growing range of software integrations with all the tools you already use.

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Powered by the content-agnostic IMP, any immersive or digital content can be accessed in an Igloo CAVE, including web-based content thanks to our Igloo Web app. Users can switch context quickly and easily between 2D or 3D content, and work with several types of content, in different formats, from different sources, all at the same time.

The Igloo CAVE does everything a CAVE does - and everything an Igloo does

You get the best of both worlds with our solution: all the functionality of an Igloo immersive space with all the capabilities of a CAVE:

  • Head-tracking with perspective-correction
  • High-fidelity, high-resolution 3D projection
  • Rear-projection and floor-projection
  • The power to handle large, complex virtual models

Plus, you get access to the entire powerful Igloo software suite, which gives you all the tools you need to access any kind of digital, immersive, or web-based content in your Igloo CAVE.

We can provide a standard solution, or a customised one

Our off-the-shelf Igloo CAVE offering provides you with everything you need from this kind of shared immersive space.

But, if you need something bespoke - something larger, something with custom software requirements, something even more powerful - we can work with you to specify, design and install your optimum solution.

With offices globally, we can deliver right around the world. And, thanks to our tight links with local integrators and AV installers, the Igloo CAVE is available to any organisation, anywhere.

Integrations with all the tools you already use - and then some

A key feature of the Igloo CAVE is that it integrates with an incredibly wide array of software and technology.

That includes tools like game engines, BIM software, and other real time content generators typically used in CAVEs.

And thanks to the content-agnostic nature of the Igloo IMP, you can access any digital content, in any format, from any source - you’re not tied to any particular provider to access your models, and you can find ever-more use cases for your Igloo CAVE.

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What goes into an Igloo CAVE?

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Immersive Media Player

An IMP III to provide all the power you need for complex model and data visualisations in 3D

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Tracked 3D glasses and controllers, so that content is adjusted to users' correct perspectives

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The display

Projectors or LED screens, with displays on the floor, walls, and in 3D

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Tracked controllers for interacting with 3D content, along with a range of methods such as Igloo Touch

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Home screen

A customisable interface for simple content access

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Software integrations for all the tools and applications any CAVE-user requires

Who can benefit from an Igloo CAVE?

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For universities, an Igloo CAVE is an ideal solution to offer an immersive setup across the institution, without being restricted to a specific department or use case. For example, anatomy students can achieve deeper insights and learnings by exploring immersive and interactive 3D models of human anatomy.

For an architecture, engineering, construction firm, the Igloo CAVE offers an all-in-one presentation, planning, designing tool. Access web-based presentations with Igloo Web, immerse groups in your designs with real time integrations, display tools such as Matterport or Google Street View, overlay timelines and budget charts - all in one immersive space.

For firms that need to test and iterate on prototypes rapidly, they can do so in an Igloo CAVE, getting teams inside to pull apart and examine virtual prototypes - and then they can present back their findings in the immersive space, accessing web-based presentation tools they’re familiar with like Google Slides or Microsoft PowerPoint.

Just a couple of examples of what we can deliver:

A pioneering system for the University of the West of England

The University of the West of England (UWE) is the proud owner of our first full Igloo CAVE solution for its new engineering building at its Frenchay campus in Bristol. The building houses specialist digital engineering facilities, study areas, and making facilities, accommodating a wider range of engineering disciplines such as composite manufacturing, machining and metrology. And, of course, it hosts the Igloo CAVE.

Kitted out with rear-and-floor-projection, 3D projection, head-tracking, it’s got all the bells and whistles of a CAVE. Plus, it benefits from the Igloo software suite, so users can easily access any content from the Igloo Home interface, import models in a range of formats with our BIM software integrations, and access web-based data with Igloo Web.

A first-of-its-kind mixed-reality technology suite in the AgriTech Centre of Excellence

For Munster Technological University, we installed a CAVE-like Igloo system into Ireland’s first and only AR/VR/XR suite.

It’s a purpose-built physical and virtual collaboration space, kitted out with VR headsets, AR glasses, 360° cameras for content creation, and more. And the centrepiece is an Igloo-powered 180° immersive pod, complete with floor-projection, 3D projection, and head-tracking, as well as a bespoke immersive video conferencing setup.

Of course, if you want a traditional, old school CAVE, we can do that too

You’re not limited to the specifications shown here. We can adapt it, or build something from scratch. That’s the benefit of having everything in-house - the software developers, the application engineers, the designers, project managers, client technical support, and so on.

So, if you’re after a tip-top, ever-so-powerful solution that implements clusters of our IMPs, or need some custom software developed to meet your exact needs, or want us to fit in with any of your existing suppliers - we can do any and all of it.

For more information on our Igloo CAVE, just get in touch.

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