Tech test bed opens at N.C. State library

Posted August 23, 2010

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— Students at North Carolina State University are getting a taste of tomorrow's cutting-edge gadgets this month with the opening of 1,700-square-foot learning laboratory called the Technology Sandbox.

The Sandbox, at the university's D.H. Hill Library, gives them a hands-on experience with the latest in interactive technology.

The lab is made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina.

It serves as a test bed and showcase for technologies that will be available when the James B. Hunt Library opens on N.C. State's Centennial Campus in 2012.

"It's going to have a ton of tech-rich spaces that no one's ever seen in a library before," NCSU Libraries' David Woodbury said.

Some of the featured technology is already being used in departments on campus, but Woodbury says the Sandbox will make it available to all students and faculty.

Students and teachers could also use the technology to collaborate on projects and lessons.

Educators say the possibilities are endless.

"The library's trying to get the right tools into the hands of the people who might be creating the new tools of tomorrow," Woodubury said.

N.C. State gets new technology lab N.C. State gets new technology lab

Work on the lab is just beginning.

It already features two Microsoft Surface tables that allow multiple users to simultaneously moved digital information and objects around the unit's tabletop by simply touching the screen.

The university also plans to install a 8-foot-by-3-foot display wall that will have an interactive, multi-touch system, similar to that of an iPad.

"A lot these tools are visualization tools, so they allow people to take data and visualize them," Woodbury said.

For now, students are just enjoying the technology.

"It's pretty cool," student Sam Tyler said. "It's like from the movies, straight up."


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  • demo7691 Aug 24, 10:40 a.m.

    I think they need to get back to education and leave the video games for the arcade or livingroom and stop wasting tax money on this type stuff. People are out of jobs and are broke and the state spends money like it grows on trees. Maybe they invented a new tree at NC State. They spend more money on sports than education anyway.

  • paginasecunda Aug 24, 9:32 a.m.

    "Yep, one government agency giving money away to another. Pay those taxes folks, you government agencies and employees are hurting."

    Strangely, when telephones first came out, I am pretty sure that a large portion of the population believed them to be superfluous. Fortunately they didn't pay attention to the naysayers then either, so now I don't actually have to drive nine hours or wait four days for mail correspondence to talk to my extended family.

  • Adelinthe Aug 23, 5:46 p.m.

    I'm not even going to try to pretend I know what that headline means.


    God bless.


  • digitaldarth Aug 23, 3:59 p.m.

    Heaven forbid a College student learn something about technology. The books are outdated. Visual tech is here and should be explored. Tech changes faster than books can be printed. What was cutting edge this week will be yesterdays tech in a year. Note they didn't purchase 20 tables. I'm sure Microsoft cut them a deal because they are an institution of higher learning. Give it a rest. Give them what they need so that they may be the leaders of tomorrow.

  • boingc Aug 23, 3:47 p.m.

    "Yep, one government agency giving money away to another. Pay those taxes folks, you government agencies and employees are hurting."

    Yeah, because we certainly don't want to expose college kids to new technologies.

  • YeaOh Aug 23, 3:42 p.m.

    Yep, one government agency giving money away to another. Pay those taxes folks, you government agencies and employees are hurting.