Digitalis was founded in 2003 by Robert Spearman and Karrie Berglund. Rob had been a software architect, and Karrie was a teacher for Seattle's Pacific Science Center (PSC). At PSC Karrie taught with Starlab cylinder based systems all over Washington state for many years, and later oversaw the on-site Willard Smith Planetarium and its Spitz 512 starball. Digitalis was the perfect way to combine their knowledge and experience to fill an unmet need.
Digitalis's breakthrough Digitarium Alpha planetarium projector, introduced in 2003, was the first truly affordable digital planetarium system. Up until that point there were no true portable planetarium systems since the analog STARLAB projectors can not show planetary motion.
Our subsequent Digitarium models continue in this mold, offering what we believe is by far the best value on the market for practical astronomy education. The fact that Digitarium systems have outsold any other brand of digital planetarium speaks to how well we are meeting this need.
Our innovations are grounded upon a unique blend of technical expertise and real-world astronomy education experience. Our goal is to offer the most cost effective, easy to use, and practical astronomy education tools.
We moved into our new headquarters in late April, 2011, former Fire Station No. 1. We now have enough 'space' for our own fixed planetarium which is open to the public with live, interactive shows presented by Digitalis staff. The Pacific Planetarium is a 6.1m fiberglass dome with concentric bench seating for 28 people.
We organized and hosted the first ever LIPS: Live Interactive Planetarium Symposium in August, 2011. We firmly believe in the educational effectiveness of live, interactive programs, and we understand intimately what is required of a system so that planetarium teachers can easily do live shows. We have made many improvements to our Digitarium systems based on our experiences presenting shows.
[Our Zeiss starball] projector itself was great but we could not find any 'good' new shows for this format (slides). I told my boss it was like having a perfectly running car that required leaded gas to run. It works fine but no fuel available... Thankfully our entire group decided... to move into the digital age.
— Jim Duke, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, AR