The Collaboratorium provides an inviting and informal environment. Central in the room is a conference table that seats seven people. The table provides connections for network, video, audio and power that can be directly connected to, for example, a user's laptop. Additional seats can be made available in the back of the room.
An important part of the room is the video wall. It consists of eight Full-HD thin bezel screens in a 4x2 configuration. The total resolution is 7,680 x 2,160 pixels (16.6 megapixel). The ultra-thin edges between the screens (called bezels) are only a few millimeters wide. This ensures minimal visual distortion of the screen image. Users of the facility can flexibly choose where they want to display different image streams (laptop images, video conferencing, remote visualization output) on the video wall and decide over how many screens these images are distributed. In this manner an optimal ‘mash up’ can be generated: various visual streams can be shown at the same time. This allows for different forms of collaboration.
The entire surface of the video wall has a ‘multi-touch overlay’ allowing direct interaction with the displayed images and applications, as if it is a large iPad.
The Collaboratorium has an advanced video conferencing system, equipped with 2 cameras. One camera looks from the front to the conference participants at the table. The other camera overlooks the entire space from the back side of the room, so that the images on the video wall and the presenter can be shared as well.
In addition to the use of the video wall, it is possible to show 3D stereo images on a separate projection screen. This screen is positioned in such a way that part of the video wall remains usable when 3D images are displayed.
A user can control the different equipment in the room using a small control panel, which provides a simple interface to all functionality. A number of predefined settings can be easily accessed with a shortcut. The interface is designed in such a way that even a new user can find his or her way in a few minutes time.
For high-resolution visualization the room will be linked via high-speed networks to the High Performance Computing and Visualization (HPCV) infrastructure at SURFsara and - through SURFnet7 - to the outside world. For the visualization of large datasets a render cluster is available, which is embedded in the data and processing facilities at SURFsara: the national supercomputer Cartesius, the HPC Cloud and Grid environment. Visualization specialists of SURFsara provide support.