Users of the NOMAD Laboratory will need ways to visualize the data they want to use. Both, comprehensive datasets from electronic structure calculations, as well as data from the data analytics platform are typically too massive to be transferred to the user's computer and their analysis and visualization requires high-end hardware and special software.
To this end NOMAD researchers are developing a centralised visualisation service that enables users to interactively perform comprehensive data visualisation tasks on their computers without having to deal with hardware or software installations.
This will allow researchers to conveniently perform graphical analyses of complex and multi-dimensional, time-dependent data from electronic structure simulations, together with molecular structures as well as abstract datasets generated by the data analytics platform.
Moreover, the resulting graphical analyses can be combined into convenient multimedia formats, as demonstrated by this video depicting the interaction of CO2 with a CaO surface.
VR has become recently a hot topic again but it is used in the research context very efficiently since almost 30 years. VR technology tries to immerse the users that have the feeling that they are located inside the dataset they want on analyze. With the help of real-time interactive stereoscopic graphics, the represented structures of virtual objects and datasets become easily visible and understandable for the human eye.
NOMAD will support researchers with variety of VR installations. They range from a traditional flat powerwall display, which is ideal for discussion and presentation of datasets, over a 5-sided projection installation, a semi-immersive device, which is entered by the user who is surrounded by the 3D content and can analyze it in detail in this environment, to the currently developed VR hardware. Mobile systems like the Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard and Samsung GearVR will be supported as well and allow the researchers to take an immersive look at their data and present it at arbitrary locations.
NOMAD Virtual Reality (VR) prototypes were presented in Munich at Zukunft Digital - Big Data (18 Jul 2016), Virtual Reality Day at the Hochschule Fresenius 2016 (20 Jul 2016) and i4c (29 Oct 2016). In particular, we showed an HTC Vive application with the adsorption of CO2 by CaO. You can check out the slides that were presented here, as well as a short video.