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Alumni News

Charles Fraresso Gets a Buzz from Digital Media Hive

January 27, 2011

Architectural Technology grad, Charles Fraresso, led the team that created the highly anticipated and innovative 3-D immersive environment in downtown Kitchener unveiled late last year.

Built and donated by Christie Digital Systems Canada, the environment is powered by 12 high-definition stereoscopic projectors that display vast amounts of data in real time in a totally immersive setting. Known as the Hive (short for Hub Interactive Visualization Environment), the unit is the centrepiece of the city’s Communitech digital media hub which is designed to foster and accelerate new companies and their technologies.

Normally this kind of technology would only be available to wealthy companies and research institutions, says Charles, Senior Project Manager in the Visual Environments group at Christie. But the new facility allows start-up companies to test and develop their products and applications more effectively, he explains. 

“This project has been the highlight of my career,” states Charles, who collaborated with other leading technology companies including RIM and HP Canada on the hub. “For me, this project will be successful through the creation of community. Getting the right people together, providing them with the best tools, within a culture of innovation will have far-reaching impact for the local economy and job creation.”

Based in the high tech community of Waterloo Region, Christie Digital Systems Canada also provided additional equipment to the hub’s event centre and reception area. The company has sold similar 3-D units to Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Charles, who graduated from Sheridan in 1994, has been involved with advanced visualisation since his early career in architecture stemming from the mid-’90s with organizations such as Imax and Fakespace and later Christie Digital. 

Charles Fraresso
Charles Fraresso, left (photo: Richard Lee – Kitchener Waterloo Record)

Charles Fraresso
Charles Fraresso, left