Sony and Mechdyne Collaborate in Aerospace Arena

Published: 2021-10-27

Sony and Mechdyne recently collaborated to create a Crystal LED installation for 3D simulation for a government contractor client in the aerospace arena.

According to Sony, the client required a visualization and simulation environment that matched the advanced designs by engineers who needed detailed, immersive images for design reviews. The company said that the project required cutting-edge 3D display technology combined with design, integration, and virtual reality expertise to enable the varied use cases and multiple image sources.

Creation of the 32’ x 9’ Crystal LED Wall

Sony revealed that the centerpiece of the project was a curved 32’ x 9’ 8K Sony Crystal LED direct view display system, one of few curved Crystal LED walls in existence. The extra wide aspect ratio required special programming to ensure display of complex CAD models in their native format.

According to the company, the Crystal LED technology, modular in nature, accommodates virtually any size or aspect ratio. Sony also highlighted that the LED’s 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio displays various depth of colors for improved image quality while the extra wide viewing angle ensures an impactful experience for participants. Sony also said that the technology can be used in a vast range of applications, but its colors, textures, and resolution are particularly prized by the virtual design industry which relies on fine details and analysis for precision and accuracy.

Both companies commented that the large screen will provide users with user-friendly and intuitive collaboration while viewing the 3D virtual reality designs, a feature that is not available for groups using head-mounted VR displays.

Integration and Installation of the Display

Sony and Mechdyne revealed that the latter integrated and programmed the installation to accommodate varied use cases. According to Mechdyne, the included windowing system was capable of displaying 2D and stereoscopic 3D content from multiple sources anywhere on the screen.

The company said that the video wall was programmed with Mechdyne’s Meeting Canvas software to display up to four HD inputs and four UHD 4K inputs simultaneously. Additionally, the system was virtual reality enabled by 16 motion-tracking cameras so that a user’s position and orientation could be monitored in real-time. This feature was added to enable image changes to match image perspective based on the user’s movements. The design also included support for finger tracking to monitor the position and orientation of a user’s hand relatively to the on-screen components.

Mechdyne engineers stated that they built the display into the main wall so that it appeared as part of the structure. By building custom frame and base to bring the panels as close to the floor as possible, they wanted to create a portal-like effect. According to the company, ancillary flat panels were installed elsewhere in the space and at the entrance way, while 7.1 surround sound filled the room from unobtrusively positioned speakers.

Lastly, to complete the installation, Mechdyne said they included a control station from which a meeting facilitator could create and manage dynamic working sessions and presentations.

Testing for Smooth Operation and Functioning

At the outset of the project, the company revealed that Mechdyne’s in-house team of control programmers reviewed use cases in depth to ensure that the windowing software and user interface met the client’s needs. “Advance staging at Mechdyne’s Technical Center verified the integrity and operation of the system before installation,” said Chad Kickbush, general manager for Mechdyne’s Integrated Systems Business Unit. Kickbush further added, “The system was made fully functional, including integration of the display, windowing software, custom-user interface programming, and computer power to run it all.”

Sony mentioned that the client also performed a factory acceptance test (FAT) to approve the interface and functionality prior to shipping while offsite staging enabled Mechdyne to perform the onsite integration rapidly, accurately, and with minimal disruption to the client’s day-to-day operations.

Both, Sony and Mechdyne, viewed the collaboration project as a success. “The compelling visuals provided by Sony’s detailed Crystal LED display were further enhanced through collaboration with Mechdyne, who implement cutting-edge technology in a way that amplifies its inherent power in supporting premier government clients and applications,” said Sander Phipps, national account manager of Visualization and Simulation at Sony Electronics.

Phipps added that the collaboration helped “the canvas truly come to life in ways that inspire and enable our users.”

As the system remains confidential, no details have been provided about use case examples and results of the initial and ongoing use.

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