Improvements to Digitarium Alpha Planetarium Projector Provide Improved Projection Quality and Increased FlexibilityDigitalis Education Solutions announces improvements to its Digitarium Alpha portable digital planetarium projector. Improvements include upgraded optics, the ability to project third party applications, and new software features.
Bremerton, WA. December 8, 2004 -- Digitalis Education Solutions proudly announces improvements to its Digitarium Alpha portable digital planetarium projector. Completely redesigned optics sharpen and brighten the projection, creating a more realistic starfield and better color reproduction. A newly added video-in port allows educators to project directly from a separate computer for increased flexibility.
Digitalis has also continued to add new features and improvements to the projector's internal software. Recent software updates include precession of the equinoxes, a new set of contemporary artwork for all 88 official constellations, an option for better magnitude delineation for stars and planets, and the ability to display planet trails against the stars to better illustrate planetary motion. Software updates are a simple matter of telling the projector to update itself over the Internet.
The Digitarium Alpha projector is designed specifically for portable and small fixed domes up to approximately 26 feet in diameter. It is a powerful tool for teaching astronomy to students of all ages, yet it is simple to operate via a handheld, backlit remote control. It can easily be shared across a school district, saving the expense and transit time of fieldtrips to a local planetarium.
The Digitarium Alpha's new optics show star colors and apparent magnitudes better than the original optics. For example, Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion is now its true reddish-orange color. Zooming in on the planet Jupiter shows colored bands of gas, and the Great Red Spot is easier to discern.
The video-in port adds tremendous flexibility. Digitarium Alpha projectors have always included a built-in DVD drive for showing additional video or image content. However, the video-in port saves the step of burning files to a CD or DVD; it also allows projection of third party applications for educators with special requirements.
The Digitarium Alpha projector "is a wonderful tool for teaching astronomy to our community college students," says Dr. Mike Inglis of Suffolk County Community College in Selden, NY. "It presents the science of astronomy in a spectacular, and often beautiful way. Coupled with the fact that it is also very easy to use and even update, it is a digital planetarium for the 21st century."
Digitalis Education Solutions feels that the improved optics, video-in port addition, and software enhancements are significant improvements to an already strong product. Even with a modest price increase--to $15,750--the Digitarium Alpha remains by far the most affordable turnkey digital planetarium projector available.
About Digitalis Education Solutions: Digitalis Education Solutions was founded in January, 2003 to provide a full-featured planetarium projector for portable domes (also sold by Digitalis). Digitalis' mission is to create capable and affordable tools for astronomy education. Karrie Berglund, Director of Education, spent over six years teaching for Pacific Science Center's Science On Wheels outreach program and also supervised PSC's Smith Planetarium.
Digitalis is seeking organizations and individuals outside the U.S. who have a passion for astronomy education to bring our solutions to markets that previously could not afford such sophisticated tools.
Overall, I would rate Digitalis Education and [my Digitarium] Alpha 2 system as a +12 on a ten point scale. The service is second to none. It is the most intuitive system to operate of any I have tested (Digital [STARLAB®], mirror systems, others which cost several times the cost of the Alpha 2) The product is very robust.
— Max McKelvey, Oatland Island Education Center, Savannah, GA