Video Wall Fault Tolerance article

I wrote an article for Sound and Communications Magazine on Video Wall Fault Tolerance.

Hiperwall Fault Tolerance

In March, I wrote a post on Fault Tolerance for the Hiperwall blog. I’ll link to it here since my name didn’t get attached to it there.


See the (Really) Big Picture

At Hiperwall, our tagline is “See the big picture” and we do that well. In applications from scientific visualization to control rooms and operations centers, being able to see lots of information in great detail allows our users to understand more clearly and make important decisions quickly. We’ve shown billion pixel images on Hiperwall systems, but haven’t had anything larger until now.

One of our developers used a capability provided by an NVIDIA library that the developers of Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt included in their video game to take an enormous game capture. He chose a resolution of more than 61,000 pixels by 34,000 pixels, so 2 gigapixels altogether. It took an absolute beast of a computer about a minute to render and save the resulting 1 GB file. Once the image was imported into our Hiperwall system, we could see how amazing it looked.

Here we’re showing the image fully zoomed out on our small 24 megapixel Hiperwall, so we can see Geralt on his horse. Click on the photo to see it in more detail.


Geralt in a 2Gpixel image shown on Hiperwall

When we zoom in to see his face, however, we can see the amazing detail in the rendering. We can see details of his witcher eye and the links on his armor. This image shows a zoom level of 1.0, so every pixel on the Hiperwall shows one pixel from the image.

Zoomed in to see Geralt's face

Finally, we animated zooming in on the image, so you can see how smoothly we can manipulate images, even those with 2 billion pixels. (Sorry about the canned music – we had people talking in the room as I shot the video.)

Picture of the Building a Product Panel at the UC Technology Commercialization Forum

This is the Building a Product panel at the UC Technology Commercialization Forum on May 8th. Next to me are Dr. Christine Ho of Imprint Energy and Dr. Michelle Brown of Olfactor Laboratories, as well as the moderator Dr. Thomas Lipkin of UCLA. The picture is pretty low res, because it was cropped from an iPhone 4S photo taken 25 or so feet away by my wife. I should have brought my good camera for her to use…

Panel 1 edited

UC Technology Commercialization Forum

On Thursday May 8th, I participated in the “Building a Product” panel at the University of California Technology Commercialization Forum at the Westin Hotel near San Francisco Airport. The day-long event had presentations by researchers who have products that are nearly ready to commercialize, as well as panels and talks by venture capitalists and members of industry.

The “Building a Product” panel was right after lunch, so it had great attendance. It was moderated by Dr. Thomas Lipkin from UCLAThe other panelists were Dr. Christine Ho of Imprint Energy and Dr. Michelle Brown of Olfactor Laboratories. We all had very different experiences in the transition from academia to startup, so the panel had plenty of different perspectives.

It was exciting to hear UC President Janet Napolitano mention Hiperwall and the other companies by name during her opening address!

Story about Hiperwall installation for US Coast Guard

Homeland Security Today magazine has published an article about how a powerful, yet cost-effective Hiperwall video wall solution helped the Coast Guard modernize their command center while maintaining and enhancing capability in a budget conscious manner.

Click the link in the paragraph above or use the URL below:


Hiperwall Engineering Team Lunch at Agora

The Hiperwall Engineering Team had a great, carnivorous lunch yesterday at Agora in Irvine. We celebrated development of significant technologies and features for our next major release. It was a fun time of tasty food and top-notch nerd talk!

Hiperwall is hiring sales people

We are hiring at least one Territory Sales Representative to sell Hiperwall systems. We are looking for candidates that have some sales experience (a year or two), as well as basic understanding of computer networking.

Hiperwall is a startup that makes software to drive video wall systems, and as our software scales for systems with just a few displays to systems with more than a hundred displays (yes, some of our customers have huge systems!), the sales growth potential is huge. The position is based in Irvine, CA.

If you or anyone you know is interested, check out:


NASA’s New Mars Panorama on Hiperwall

These are pictures of NASA’s new panoramic image from the Opportunity rover on Mars being displayed on Hiperwall. The image has more than 180 million pixels, so it would be very hard to see well on a single monitor. With Hiperwall, we can see the whole image, as shown in the first picture, by zooming out and having it fill the width of the wall.

Zoomed out to fill the Hiperwall’s 20 monitors

We can the zoom in and see more detail:

Closer view of Mars on Hiperwall

When the image is shown at full size (1:1 zoom), there is tremendous detail visible on each monitor:

Close-up Mars on Hiperwall

The Hiperwall software makes it easy to view high-resolution images such as these, as well as movies, streaming video, and live data feeds.

InfoComm 2012 wrapup

The Hiperwall booth at InfoComm in Las Vegas went very well. We brought a 12 monitor wall, consisting of 46” NEC thin-bezel monitors on a Premier mounting system and driven by Technovare Core i5 set-top PCs. We also borrowed two 55” monitors with embedded AMD PCs to show that our software is very flexible and can drive standalone monitors or even multiple display walls. We mounted the two monitors back to back on a single Premier mount with one monitor facing the aisle and the other into the booth. Our final configuration was the 12-panel wall, the 2×55” monitors configured as a separate wall, and a large-screen HP laptop configured as a third display wall. All these were controlled by a Gateway touchscreen PC and connected via compact 24-port gigabit Ethernet switch. Our sources were several minitower i5 and i7 PCs. One had a Datapath capture card connected to a 1080p Sony camera, while another had a webcam feed from a fancy D-Link pan-tilt webcam (we can control the pointing of the camera from the Hiperwall Control Node via our Sender’s built-in KVM capability), and another PC was running a very large, dense, and dynamic Excel spreadsheet that looked great on the display wall and showed that live content from proprietary applications is extremely easy to show on a Hiperwall.

A primary focus of our presentation was to show our new animation capabilities, so we ran a pre-release version of Hiperwall 3.0, and had several animation sequences configured into what we call “environments.” Our most spectacular one is a high-res photo of the Earth (NASA’s Blue Marble 2012) rotating (yes, we know the earth doesn’t rotate that way, but it looked good) with the Moon orbiting around it. The movie below is similar to the environment we used at the show, but we had our logo and other content on there as well. The major difference between our software and traditional video walls is that the animation is not a movie. Instead, we can animate any of our display content, including live feeds, on the fly, either through pre-built animations defined using our simple keyframe interface or via our XML-based web services interface. This means changes to animation steps or content being animated are trivial, which gives us a huge leg up on the traditional approaches.

Another animation we showed was a set of travel poster images designed by Saddle Ranch Digital for the Hiperwall system they installed for JetBlue. These spectacular posters were given life by our ability to move, scale, rotate, and filter them in real-time in animated sequences.

When these animations were running, passers-by stopped and stared, and many of them were intrigued enough to stay and talk to us and learn about our system. We had visitors from all over the world stop by. Some were customers, while many were dealers, integrators, and consultants. We even had a few of our competitors visit to see our product.

I believe the show went well. The booth looked good and all hardware worked! The Hiperwall software performed well, too, despite being a beta version (we did catch a bug with the Secondary Controller, so I’ve already fixed that). Many of the visitors that saw our capabilities told us they were very impressed, which is gratifying to hear that our hard work is well-received. Next year’s InfoComm is in Orlando, so I’ll hope to see you there!