The $350,000 big-screen, 3D 'VisWall'

At Tufts University, the VisWall that casts molecules and more into eye-popping 3D relief on an 8-by-14-foot screen

VisBox

It used to be that if you wanted to get a good look at microscopic bits of matter, you had to have to use, well, a microscope. You'd smoosh a drop of liquid between two small glass plates, slip them under the lens, and then fiddle with the focus until the mitochondria -- hopefully -- came into view. At least, that's how it was in my high school biology class way back when (and never mind those film strips).

Things are different if you're a scientific researcher at a 21st-century institution of higher learning. Take the Tufts University School of Engineering, which has the luxury of a $350,000 scientific display device called the VisWall, from company called VisBox, that casts molecules and more into eye-popping 3D relief on an 8-by-14-foot screen. In flat-screen mode, it's said to be twice as sharp as an HDTV--just the thing for studying the inner workings of the colon, apparently.

Read more from The Boston Globe: "Plasma TV has nothing on this visionary virtual device"

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.

 

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