Q: Is it OK for people to touch the screen?
A: Yes, but we don't recommend encouraging it. The screen consists of a soft vinyl rear projection film bonded to an acrylic shell. The vinyl has a matte finish that does not readily show finger marks, but it can be scratched and gouged. Cleaning should be infrequent, but when required any non-agressive cleaning solution (slightly soapy warm water, alcohol, etc.) can be used with a cloth or soft paper towel, etc.
Q: How fragile is the screen?
A: Not very. Structurally, the screen is an acrylic spherical shell. It isn't easily broken, but contact with objects that might deliver a sharp blow or gouge the vinyl should be avoided. Damage to the vinyl cannot be repaired, so depending on the environment it is to be installed in, it may be advisable to install a railing system around the OmniGlobe.
Q: How dark does the viewing ambient need to be?
A: Typical museum lighting is fine. Such lighting is subdued, but easily adequate for "reading a newspaper". The screen has a low reflection matte surface, but bright lights will reduce the image contrast. For relatively bright ambients, and anywhere the extra "pop" is wanted, we recommend our Dual Projector System. This system also offers higher resolution than the single projector system.
Q: What is the best viewing distance?
A: Just as in a movie theater, the best seats are not in the front row. For the fully spherical OmniGlobe, a nice viewing distance is about twice the diameter (10 feet for the 60" globe and 4-5 feet for the 32" globe).
Q: Who besides ARC creates content?
A: Anyone can. As discussed on our "Creating Content" page, content can be as simple as a 2:1 rectangular global image (we prefer 3000x1500 pixel JPG's). We can provide a base Earth image or you can choose your own background image and overlay whatever global data you'd like to see. Once the images are created they can be displayed on the OmniGlobe using ARC's OmniExplorer software. This includes the ability to display complex animations created in 2D software such as Adobe AfterEffects and converted to the spherical geometry using ARC's Geometer software. Content can also be created with powerful 3D software packages such as Discreet's 3D Studio Max® or NewTek's Lightwave®. The images and frames of animations are automatically converted into the correct geometry for display on the OmniGlobe by ARC's Geometer software.
Q: Can we have multiple movies or images on our OmniGlobe?
A: Yes. And they can be set up to be selected by visitors or staff. Visitor selection is typically accomodated using a touch screen monitor. Movies can also continuously loop.
Q: Can movies have audio?
A: Yes. Audio is easily added to movies.
Q: What hardware do the movies and images play from?
A: A PC configured for good video performance. The software, images and movies will reside on the hard disk. The PC generally resides inside the base of the display system, although it can also reside in the kiosk or some other location close by.
Q: What is the life and cost of the lamps?
A: Depending upon the projector, they are generally rated at 1500 to 2000 hours in standard power mode, and as much as 4 times that in the economy mode (low brightness setting) available with some projectors. Replacement lamps generally fall in the range of $400 to $600 per lamp.
Q: What are ARC's warranty and service policies?
A: The projector and computer are standard products covered by their respective manufacturer's warranties, generally 1-2 years parts and labor. ARC warrants the rest of the system, which is principally the screen and optics, for one year for problems or failures due to workmanship or materials, and which are not intentional or inadvertent damaging acts at the exhibit site.
Q: What is the delivery time from order placement?
A: The OmniGlobe system can generally be delivered 8-12 weeks after the initial down payment. ARC created custom content may take longer depending upon the complexity and customer requirements.