Digital domes: Theaters without borders

Donna Cox, Ed Lantz, Ryan Wyatt, Brad Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Dome theaters have historically been planetarium venues that projected points of starlight on a curved ceilings, but with the advent of new technologies and software, digital "fulldome" theaters are rapidly expanding and converting domes into an immersive virtual social experience augmented by computer graphics and scientific visuals. Hundreds of popular science museums worldwide have converted to digital fulldome projection systems and many new theaters are being built globally. Inflatable dome theaters travel to schools and venues like the SIGGRAPH VR Village. Digital dome theaters extend educational and cultural programming beyond night-sky astronomy, including science shows both recorded and interactive, live entertainment events, and more. Their computer graphics content can range from scientific visualizations to interactive art, and there is debate about whether their future is in the traditional world of science education, or in entertainment narratives and events. The debate is fueled by design and software challenges of the format. The panelists will debate from their unique perspectives on traditional science education versus entertainment approaches to creating and funding dome content. They will provide their visions on the future of the digital dome industry, dome shows featuring big data science vs. live-action photography, scaling content across domes, producing live interactive experiences vs. digital playback, and global distribution issues. The panelists will demonstrate visuals in the dome theater in the SIGGRAPH VR Village venue chaired by panelist Ed Lantz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Panels, SIGGRAPH 2015
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450336338
StatePublished - Jul 31 2015
EventInternational Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH 2015 - Los Angeles, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2015Aug 13 2015

Publication series

NameACM SIGGRAPH 2015 Panels, SIGGRAPH 2015


OtherInternational Conference on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, SIGGRAPH 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles


  • Big data science
  • Digital dome
  • Digital dome theater
  • Distribution
  • Fulldome
  • Hemisphere
  • Live events
  • Museum
  • Planetarium
  • Projection
  • Supercomputing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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