Immersive Construction (ICon) Lab
ICon Lab Rendering


The Immersive Construction (ICon) Lab contains an immersive projection display which allows 3D and 4D models to be displayed using stereoscopic visualization at full scale. The purpose of the lab is to facilitate the effective use of virtual reality (VR) techniques in the design, construction and operations of capital facility projects including buildings and other infrastructure projects. Our aim is to develop affordable, easy to use and easy to administer VR systems to facilitate their deployment in the Architecture/Engineering/Construction (AEC) Industry and throughout engineering and architectural academic programs.

The ICon Lab is one of two immersive display labs at Penn State housed within the Architectural Engineering and Architecture Departments with the Immersive Environments Lab as a companion facility. These facilities provide the core infrastructure for our advanced visualization research related to the design and adoption of Virtual Reality in education and the AEC industry.

The ICon Lab is located in 306 Engineering Unit C (link to map). The facility is open 24/7 for Architectural Engineering and other students that require access to the lab. For information regarding the use of the facility, see the user instructions below and review the contents throughout this wiki. We hope you enjoy the lab.

  • ICon Console - The three main displays are typically driven from a single, Windows PC which allows for easy use of the facility
  • SMARTBoard - A multi-touch interactive whiteboard on the left side of the main projection screens
  • Portable PCs - 20 portable PCs can be integrated with any of the displays through VNC connections
  • Videoconferencing - Tandberg C60 with front and rear HD camera and 6 wireless microphones
  • User-tracking system - ARTtrack Trackpack system with Flystick2 and Xbox controller

ICon Lab Technical Details - A detailed list of the equipment and software in the lab

The ICon Lab display system layout

The ICon Lab display system has a total of 5 display screens which can project any primary input source. The three main screens (left, center and right) are active stereo enabled projected screens. In addition to the 3-screen display, additional screens include the Smart Board on the left wall and the [[#|LCD]] screen on the right side.


How do I log into the Computer?

To log into the ICon Console Computer, use you Penn State user credentials:
Username: "\abc123" (abc123 is your university username)
Password is your current Penn State password

How do I turn On the screens?

The three large screens as well as the SmartBoard and the LCD screen are controlled by the AMX touch panel. The touch panel is located on the main desk by the three monitors computer monitors in the back of the room. The touch panel controls the powering on/off of all the screens as well as switching between different input sources. Below are detailed instructions for powering the system on and off , modifying input sources, and switching different sources to be displayed on any of the screens.

The AMX Touch Panel

1. To turn on the system, touch the panel:

2. If you want to use the display system with any or all screens, select "Full System". Otherwise you can just use the 3 Console PC monitors:

How do I display and change video sources?

The AMX touch panel offers two ways to choose how you want to display different video sources.

1. "Video Presets" - offers 6 predefined display configurations with 3 unassigned options to save custom display configurations
    • AMX_3.JPG
      Video Presets page on the touch panel

      1. "Default" -------------------------- console PC on the main 3 screens, Smartboard PC on the Smart Board, and Videoconferencing on LCD
      2. "Laptop presentation" ----- only the laptop on the center screen is displayed
      3. "Main only" --------------------- only the console PC on the 3 large screens is displayed
      4. "VNC" ------------------------------ VNC servers are displayed on the 3 screens (VNC 1 on left, VNC 2 on center, and VNC 3 on the right screen)
      5. "Video Conf" ------------------- Video conference main input on LCD and second input on the right screen
      6. "Video Conf Main"----------- Video conference main input on the Center screen and the content input on left and right screens

2. "Switching" - allows to manually select a video input source and then select the screen to be displayed on:

    • switching.jpg
      The Switching page on the touch panel

How do I change audio source?

Similar to changing video sources, the AMX touch panel allows changing audio sources. Currently, Main PC, Smart PC and Laptop are connected to the audio system.
  • OPTION: For in-lab speaker presentations if needed, speaker can use one of the wearable or table microphones which can be found in the charging station on the main desk. To use the microphone(s), on the touch panel enable "Microphone to Speakers". Turn on the microphone by pressing the button until the light starts blinking green (for more info how to use microphones, refer to the next section of this page)

The Audio Adjust page on the touch panel with the volume control

How do I use the video conference?

Setting up the Videoconferencing system is a three-step process:

1. Choose the screens on which to display the video conference by either:
  • On the "Switching" tab select the video conference source (VC Output 1 and VC Output 2) and then select desired screens, or
  • On the "Video Presets" tab select "Video Conf" button

2.Connect to the video conference
  • To dial a specific videoconferencing number, on the "Video Conf" page click on the "Make a call" button and enter the provided number using the on-screen keyboard. Alternatively, you can use the remote for the video conference to dial.

Video Conference page to dial

external image tandberg_remote.jpg

    • OPTION: To share a content from any of the video sources, click on "Send Sources" button in the lower right corner of the page - new page will open. Choose the source you want to share (PC left, center, right...) To switch back to sharing the camera view, click on either "Front Cam" or "Ceiling Cam"

    • AMX_7.JPG
      Video Conference - Send Sources page to select content source to be shared

3. Set up wireless microphones
  • In the charging dock station on the main desk, there are 4 table mics and 2 wearable mics. Remove the mics you would like to use for the conference - the mics LED light will cycle through green, orange and red before it starts blinking red continuously. Blinking red means that the microphone is OFF and is ready to be used. Click on the button on the microphone to turn it ON - the LED light will start blinking GREEN.

external image 219QZ%2BcC-ML._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Revolabs wireless table and wearable mics
Revolabs wireless table and wearable mics

How do I use the Smart Board?

The Smart Board can be used interactively only when the Smart Board PC is displayed on the Smart Board.
  1. On the "Switching" tab select Smartboard PC input and then select Smart Board output.
  2. Log into the Smartboard PC using your PSU credentials.
  3. Open Smart Notebook application

How do I turn Off the screens?

Click "EXIT" button on the AMX touch panel and confirm the power off.

The button in the lower left corner of the touch panel

! NOTE: The system is programmed to turn off automatically every day at 7pm. If you need to use the system beyond this time, you will have 60 seconds to cancel the power down. If the system does shutdown, simply wait 4 minutes and then restart the displays. The main console computer will not be impacted by the shutdown.


For any questions about how to use the ICon lab, or how to schedule it, please send a note to the ICon Listserve at L-ICON@LISTS.PSU.EDU.

External Links