The Universal Console is the 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.

Additional Information

Universal Console Architecture (pdf)