The Universal Console is a graphical interface for controlling a Digitarium digital planetarium system. It gives presenters intuitive control over their system in an easy to use web-based application over a local wired or wireless network.

Educators can use the Universal Console on an Apple iPad® for an intuitive touch interface. The wireless features of the iPad enable the ability to easily walk around and interact with audience members. In a fixed dome, a user could teach from a desktop computer at a console desk. The advanced interactive functionality will benefit teachers in both fixed and portable domes.

The Universal Console interface can co-exist with other interfaces, such as our handheld, backlit remote control. But the Universal Console gives users finer control over their presentations and adds a lot of functionality not available with the remote control. For example, with the Universal Console, an object can be searched for by name with autocompletion, rather than selecting an object with the remote control cursor.

The Universal Console hides absolutely any trace of the user interface from the audience, maximizing the immersive experience. Run a software script, change your latitude/longitude, show images or videos, and more, without your audience seeing any part of your control interface displayed on the dome.

Below is a screenshot of the “Media” screen, which enables you to display media on the dome and manipulate these in real time (position, size, etc.):

Note that the interface colors help preserve the presenter's dark adapted vision and mitigate light cast on the dome.

All of the functions of the Digitarium remote control are also available through the Universal Console interface, and the two can be used together during the same presentation. Additional Universal Console functions include:

  • Augmented Lessons feature makes live presentations so much easier!
  • Gamepad-style thumbstick controls to adjust latitude/longitude, pan/tilt, and altitude.
  • Easy access to scripts, with syntax highlited viewing, playback, testing, and debugging features built in. Professional edition users can also record, edit, and compose scripts with auto-completion features.
  • The ability to play an audio track in the background.
  • Dynamic placement and manipulation (mirror, rotate, scale, etc.) of images or videos against the sky.
  • Basic slide show functionality.
  • Select a celestial object by name.
  • Adjust colors with a graphical color picker.
  • Select and unselect constellations with one click (multiple constellations can be selected at once).

The Universal Console currently can be run by an Apple iPad (using the built in Safari web browser) or any computer that runs the Firefox web browser. It is a cross-platform application, so it does not matter which operating system your computer runs.

The Universal Console supports basic cove light control for Bowen Technovation AstroFX Aurora cove lighting sytems. Fade up or down your cove, select from presets, and adjust the color and intensity—all from your iPad or desktop.

Worried that you won't be able to set up or use the Universal Console? Here are some points to consider:

  • There is no software to install on your iPad or desktop computer (unless you need to install the Firefox web browser). If purchasing as an upgrade, you will just need to update your Digitarium system, which is an easy, automated process.
  • Our detailed manual provides step by step instructions, enabling even the least technical user to successfully get started. We provide free technical support, if needed.
  • We wrote the application from scratch, so we can provide outstanding support if questions arise.
  • Some people have told us that the Universal Console is actually more intuitive than our remote control, since the functions are labeled with words in your native language instead of icons.

PRICE: $4,500.

Receive a discount of $500 when purchased with a new Digitarium system.

  • Price includes free technical support and online software updates for the life of your Digitarium system.
  • All Digitarium portable systems include Wi-Fi access point functionality so that you do not need to set up a Wi-Fi router. Apple iPad or other networking hardware not included.
  • If upgrading an older Digitarium, you must have an OP3 or newer system; contact us if you may need to upgrade your Digitarium Operating Platform as well.

Additional Information

Universal Console Architecture (pdf)