We design and install the world’s top fulldome planetariums and visualization theaters. Our products and services range from Definiti digital fulldome theater systems to fulldome content, project management, theater design, and related hardware and software.
1967-1990s: Special Effects and Automation
Sky-Skan began in 1967 creating special effect visuals for planetariums. To augment the star projector, the special effects projectors would show astronomical phenomenon such as solar wind. These projectors were fabricated in-house, requiring precision engineering coupled with a view to creativity to keep improving the effects. Sky-Skan became synonymous with special effect projectors during this period, with hundreds of customers still using these products today.
By the 1980s, planetarium coves (the space where projectors are just behind the dome screen edge) were crowded with special effects and slide projectors. Each one was integral to the show and had to be turned on at just the right moment. Sky-Skan saw the opportunity for a new product category and developed SPICE Automation. A comprehensive solution to theater automation, SPICE components quickly became the industry standard. Today, planetariums and giant-screen theaters rely on SPICE components to keep their shows perfectly synchronized.
1990s-present: The Digital Revolution
In the 1990s, Sky-Skan began work on a new class of planetarium, one that used the dome as a giant digital canvas. The first product, SkyVision, covered every square meter of the giant dome screen with full-motion video. Even though multiple projectors were used, Sky-Skan aligned, masked, and blended the video to form one seamless image. Before SkyVision, shows were limited to rectangular video windows that could move around on the dome, but never cover it completely. The advent of all-dome video sparked content creators to begin telling stories using the largest theater canvas known–the giant dome screen of planetariums.
With the success of SkyVision, Sky-Skan began work to use video to digitally replicate stars. Rather than having a preset, pre-rendered sequence of star movements, the approach was for a real-time simulation. The resulting software, DigitalSky, brought about a whole new theater type: the Definiti digital fulldome theater. DigitalSky, coupled with the advanced hardware required to handle extremely high-resolution real-time visualizations, are at the heart of every Definiti theater installed today.
Sky-Skan’s Definiti theaters immerse audiences using a giant, seamless dome screen and surround sound. Typical shows include real-time flights through astounding data sets, and playback shows with ultra-high definition video. Our customers include science centers and museums, universities, school districts, custom venues, and even residential installations.
Current Definiti Projection Systems
The success of DigitalSky software and Definiti theaters continues. Sky-Skan offers a range of Definiti projection system options from the portable Definiti PD II through mid-range DLP- and D-ILA-based projection systems to the high-end Definiti 4K and Definiti 8K systems. Each Definiti projection system is developed using the highest quality components, and often uses unique hardware developed by Sky-Skan such as lenses, projector mounts, and LED cove lighting.