AlloSphere: Immersive Data Visualization.

Composer JoAnn Kuchera-Morin demos the “AlloSphere, an entirely new way to see and interpret scientific data, in full color and surround sound inside a massive metal sphere. Dive into the brain, feel electron spin, hear the music of the elements…”


Based at UCSB, the Allosphere and its 3D immersive theater maps complex data in time and space. Kuchera-Morin founded the Center for Research in Electronic Art Technology (CREATE) and has been the director since its birth in 1986. In 2000 she began work on a Digital Media Center within the California NanoSystems Institute at Santa Barbara. Her fascinations include gestural interfaces for performance and the expression of complex data in nontraditional forms. Hew own music explores the boundaries of electric/acoustic instrumentation, welcoming digital players into the ensemble in works such as Concerto For Clarinet and Clarinets, a composition for solo clarinet and computer-generated tape.

It’s impressive the number of variables that can be visualized in an immersive interactive system using to shape, color, position, sound, cinetics, haptics as opposed to a 2D or even a 3D non-immersive system. It’s also an amazing tool for fostering spatial thinking. Fascinating, but is there much new under the sun in terms of interfaces and immersive design?

This kind of interface is stuck with the old out-of-the-brain immersion paradigm that made the first generation of virtual reality devices and applications not very practical and not easily replicable. If we really want immersive communication to thrive, it’s into-the-brain that we have to look, embracing a shift from experiential/sensorial immersion to neural immersion. Something closer to augmented reality and Virtual reality via nanobot injection than to the AlloSphere.

Having said this, I wish I had one

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