Applied Visualization Laboratory & Data Science Lead John Koudelka (208) 526-8591

About the Applied Visualization Laboratory


The Applied Visualization Laboratory contains a number of advanced 3D visualization platforms including:

  • Computer Assisted Virtual Environment (CAVE)
  • IQ-Station
  • Stereo Wall
  • Virtual Reality Headsets
  • Mobile Devices

Using these systems, the lab enables researchers to view, analyze, and process 3D data from both file and live data sources.

Director’s Blog

About the CAVE


The lab provides a four sided 3D Computer Assisted Virtual Environment or CAVE that allows scientists and engineers to probe, analyze, and predict trends using their data.


The four-panel CAVE uses rear projection to display computer graphics on three walls and the floor. By wearing stereo glasses to create depth perception and holding a “wand” to manipulate and control data, users can tour a building still under design, plot a new transmission route over terrain, open a valve, or delve into the core of a nuclear reactor.

About the IQ-Stations


The lab in conjunction with University of Indiana has developed a low cost mobile solution similar to the CAVE called the Inexpensive Interactive Immersive Interface (I-quaded or IQ) Station. These systems use 3D televisions or projectors and screens, low cost tracking solutions, and commercial devices such as the Wii Remote for manipulation. These solutions have been deployed in AVL, around Idaho National Laboratory, CAES partner institutions, and throughout the world.

About the Stereo Wall


The Stereo Wall is a 3D immersive environment similar to the CAVE, but contains only one wall and uses the same controls and tracking as the CAVE. It provides a development type environment for scientists and engineers to try out their data sets in preparation for use in the CAVE or while CAVE is in use for other experiments.


About Virtual Reality Headsets


The AVL contains a virtual reality headset for the researchers for testing in solo or in their own laboratories. This enables a portable and fully immersive experience for the scientist without having to install a CAVE in their building. The AVL is developing a number of software solutions that allow the researchers to use the same software on their desktop, virtual reality headset, and in the CAVE.


About Mobile Devices


The AVL provides scientists and engineers the change to use the immersive environments with mobile devices such as tablets and phones for a deployable solution about the laboratory environment without any special setup. These devices, when used with the CAVE, allow interactions with the data inside the CAVE. Outside the CAVE and AVL, these allow the user to take their results to show to anyone, anywhere.

Quick Facts

  • CAES operates the AVL as a user facility so universities, government agencies, and industry can use it to solve various technical and research problems
  • CAES and Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have provided three portable 3-D visualization systems to Boise State University, Idaho State University, and University of Idaho to help bolster their modeling and simulation capabilities
  • CAES and INL are developing next generation methods for ingesting and manipulating real time data in various immersive and virtual reality systems


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