New Digitarium Digital Planetarium Systems Announced
BREMERTON, Wash., March 15, 2011 — Digitalis Education Solutions, Inc. proudly announces the addition of two new models to the company’s market-leading line of Digitarium® digital planetarium systems.
The Digitarium® Kappa projects a 1600 pixel diameter circle, which results in over two million pixels reaching the dome surface. It combines a high resolution, high brightness DLP projector with a proprietary fisheye lens and specialized computer control unit. The Kappa can be used in domes up to approximately 52 ft/16m in diameter.
The Digitarium Kappa model is designed primarily for fixed domes, although Digitalis will also offer a portable version. With a projection angle of 165 degrees, the Kappa sits low in a fixed dome, making it less likely to block audience sight lines. The Kappa’s price of approximately $70,000 (US price in USD) makes it far more affordable than several competing systems, even some with lower resolutions.
Like the Digitarium Gamma and Epsilon systems, the Kappa can be mounted next to an existing opto-mechanical projector. An optional elevator mount enables the Kappa’s projector to be raised for use or lowered out of the way of the starball. The off-center distortion correction feature in Digitarium systems adjusts starfields and media for positioning away from the middle of the dome.
The new Digitarium Zeta model is intended primarily for use in portable domes. It projects a 1200 pixel diameter circle and offers a compact size to facilitate storage and transport from site to site.
The Zeta is similar to Digitalis’ Digitarium Epsilon system, although not as bright; the Zeta can be used in domes up to approximately 40 ft/12m in diameter. The Zeta’s angle of projection is 175 degrees, making it more immersive in a portable dome than the Epsilon’s 155 degree angle of projection in fulldome mode. At a price of approximately $30,000 (US price in USD), the Zeta is also more affordable than the Epsilon.
The new models will begin shipping in the third quarter of 2011.
A Digitarium system’s integrated planetarium and multimedia display software is easily controlled with Digitalis’ unique backlit remote control that works from anywhere in the dome or with the company’s new web-based interface, the Universal Console™. The Universal Console enables the Digitarium system to be controlled from a desktop computer or handheld tablet device, such as an iPad. A license for the Universal Console software will be included with each Digitarium fixed dome system, and it is available as an optional add-on for portable systems.
Live, scripted, and prerecorded shows are all simple to present with Digitarium® systems. They enable educators to cover all the standard planetarium show topics and more. For example, teachers can simulate the sky from any point on Earth or from other solar system bodies; show constellations from many cultures; demonstrate phenomena such as transits, eclipses, and meteor showers; label or zoom in on any object; etc.
Educators using Digitarium® systems can also project images or videos on any subject or play prerecorded, immersive fulldome video shows. They can create prerecorded segments or even entire shows using the planetarium software’s powerful StratoScript™ scripting capability. Scripting can alleviate tedious sequences or provide special effects with image manipulation, audio, video playback, and other advanced features.
Digitarium® systems offer the best usability and lowest training costs on the market due to their intuitive interfaces. Educators are liberated from complex software interfaces to focus on their audiences. Free lesson plans get educators started teaching right away. The systems are designed for reliability, and Digitalis’ two-year limited warranty is double the industry standard. Incredibly, technical support and software updates are free for the life of the system.
Overall, I would rate Digitalis Education and [my Digitarium] Alpha 2 system as a +12 on a ten point scale. The service is second to none. It is the most intuitive system to operate of any I have tested (Digital [STARLAB®], mirror systems, others which cost several times the cost of the Alpha 2) The product is very robust.
— Max McKelvey, Oatland Island Education Center, Savannah, GA