Feb 29, 2012 (12:02 PM EST)
What CIA Wants In Next-Gen HD Video

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The CIA is investing in software that uses existing hardware to create next-generation video displays that will improve how intelligence agencies view and analyze information on large-format screens.

In-Q-Tel, the CIA-based nonprofit that identifies emerging technologies to support the U.S. intelligence community, has struck a partnership with Mersive, a provider of visual computing software that enables the creation of large-scale, high-performance displays.

Video display hardware is limited by the physical engineering of optics and light sources, according to In-Q-Tel. Rather than taking a hardware approach to display technology, Mersive tackles the issue from a software perspective.

The company's Sol software allows for the alignment and calibration of multiple projector images on one large-scale screen within minutes, providing what the company calls "beyond high-definition" displays.

Mersive partners with providers of commodity projector hardware to create displays, and with developers of visualization, command and control, and simulation and training software to enhance the display experience.

[ Updated federal cybersecurity standards focus on mobile and cloud computing. Read more at Federal Cybersecurity Guidelines Now Cover Cloud, Mobility. ]

The company's software is used by engineers, designers, scientists, control room operators, and other professionals who need to monitor and display information on screens that can take up several walls of a room.

Mersive's partnership with In-Q-Tel now will allow intelligence agencies to view and analyze graphic-intensive data and applications more effectively, said Will Radosevich, vice president of the Information and Communication Technologies practice at In-Q-Tel, in a press statement.

The partnership will also allow Mersive to expand its technology development. The company plans to explore ways to allow for collaboration around its display technology, CEO Rob Balgley said in a press statement.

The CIA started In-Q-Tel in 1999 as an independent entity to find useful new technologies to support the mission of the U.S. intelligence community. The partnerships the organizations strike also help smaller companies further develop their products.

The venture has recently invested in a variety of technologies, including cloud computing, and a host of security technologies, including computer-screen security, binary-code security, and secure virtualization.

As federal agencies embrace devices and apps to meet employee demand, the White House seeks one comprehensive mobile strategy. Also in the new Going Mobile issue of InformationWeek Government: Find out how the National Security Agency is developing technologies to make commercial devices suitable for intelligence work. (Free registration required.)