AlloSphere three story virtual environment not available for birthday parties, Bat Mitzvahs

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara are developing an immense, wholly immersive VR environment that would allow groups of researchers the opportunity to explore their data aurally and visually on a scale never before seen. The AlloSphere is a three story metal sphere housed in an echo-free chamber, large enough that twenty researchers can stand on a bridge and take a walk through an atom, for instance, or a human brain. The project relies on a supercomputer for generating real-time, high-res 3D video and audio streams from a mountain of scientific data, and currently the team is hard at work building the bad boy's computing platform and interactive display. The project leader JoAnn Kuchera-Morin has yet to state whether or not the sense of smell would be incorporated into the finished product, but we sure hope not -- that would be rather distracting, don't you think? Check it out on video after the break.

[Via TED]