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5-Minute Interview: Randall Stevens

President and CEO of graphics software developer Mersive Technologies, Randall Stevens, earned a degree in architecture before starting 3D-graphics software development company ArchVision. In 2004, with partners Chris Jaynes and Stephen Webb, Stevens co-founded Mersive Technologies in Lexington, Ky.

Stevens: It's a term we coined because we found that what we were doing with displays required a new way of thinking about resolution. Traditional displays use standards to describe the number of pixels, the width, the height of the generally fixed proportion of displays. Our technology lets you create displays that can be any size or resolution, depending on how many projection devices you cluster. We did a demonstration of a 10-foot-by-8-foot array of 80 projectors with 55 million pixels. High-definition resolution at 1920 x 1080 is just over 2 million pixels. So our display was 25 times HD resolution.

Pro AV: You're working with the National Science Foundation to define new standards, right?

Stevens: Yes, through a grant they gave us. We can now create a pixel palette of an infinite number of pixels by clustering devices, so how do you describe that resolution in a standard way? We're seeking partners, not just from industry but also from research and academe for a technology advisory panel to work on this.

Pro AV: You're defining a standard for ultra definition?

Stevens: We define ultra definition as anything beyond high definition. Historically, displays have been of a fixed size and resolution, and they hook up to a device that spits out the image information in that size and resolution. They have to conform to a certain standard to be able to talk to each other. When the display becomes any size or resolution, the devices no longer knows how to talk to it. So part of what we're doing is with Stingray is developing a middle layer, what we call a display operating system, of how to work with these very high-resolution pixel palettes.

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