MTPE, Inc., dba ePlanetarium®, is a woman-owned small business, led by Prof. Patricia Reiff, Director of the Rice Space Institute at Rice University. The company was formed as a way to market shows, software, and planetarium technology created by the Immersive Earth project and its partners.
The Immersive Earth project is a partnership between Houston Museum of Natural Science, Rice University, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, HomeRun Pictures, Elumenati, and Sky-Skan Inc. This partnership was made possible from the "Immersive Earth", a five-year, NASA REASoN funded project that brings together five museums, two universities, and three companies to create and distribute full-dome digital planetarium shows and software. From the six original sites, the Discovery Dome network is now well over 100 installations around the world.
ePlanetarium® is an authorized distributor of portable domes, shows, projectors, and software from many of the finest producers in the world. In addition, we offer "on the road" shows nationwide through our extensive and growing outreach partner network.
"Our planetarium shows are truly immersive because they present the viewer with images, in front, behind, above and on both sides of their seat," said institute director Patricia Reiff, professor of Physics and Astronomy at Rice and the Principal Investigator on the "Immersive Earth" grant.
"People love these shows, and they are a great vehicle to teach Earth and space science, but unfortunately full-sized planetariums require six projectors, working in concert with six different computers."
"Immersive Earth" aims for a wider audience through the development and distribution of a small, fully portable system that uses an inflatable dome and single-projector display. This single projection system is also good for small to medium sized planetariums that want to "go digital" inexpensively.
The "Immersive Earth" Cooperative Agreement has paid for the creation of four new programs: "Earth's Wild Ride,", "Dinosaur Prophecy," "Impact Earth" and "Force 5." . It has also helped the Houston Museum of Natural Science make five other shows.