John Smale Visualization Lab and Center

A student using the SMALE machine.

Location: 201 Laws Hall

Thanks to a pair of very generous donations from alums John Smale and Michael Armstrong, ETBD has been able to found a research and innovation center devoted to visualization and virtual reality. The Smale Interactive Visualization Center partners with another of Miami’s research facilities – the HIVE (Huge Immersive Virtual Environment) – to provide a breadth of world-class visualization tools for faculty, students, and industry partners.

The Center currently boasts a 16’ x 9’ HD 3D active stereoscopic projection system (often called a powerwall); a smaller, portable 3D projection system that can be used in classrooms or off-campus sites; and an immersive, 3D, 40” desktop display system.


  • 4-walled, virtual reality CAVE
  • Z‑space 3D table
  • iBox 3D viz
  • 3D scanners
  • 6 Occulus Rifts (DK1+2)
  • Hydras
  • LEAP motions
  • a complete motion capture suit

The Center’s mission is multifaceted, and reaches far beyond bringing "cool displays" to Miami’s campus. We seek to (a) be an asset to classroom education, (b) support faculty research and development, (c) partner with local, national, and international industries, and (d) fulfill the ETBD mission of reaching across traditional academic boundaries to serve all academic divisions at Miami. Heading up these efforts is the Center’s director, Dr. Eric Hodgson, who is a Miami Alum and member of the HIVE research team.

The Center has also entered into an agreement with EON Reality, Inc. to provide software, hardware, development assistance, and support. We will work with EON to generate real-world industry projects for our students, and to provide state-of-the-art visualization tools for the Center.