Three-dimensional Visualization and Simulation of Astronomical Phaenomena

ZEISS acquires UNIVIEW™ software

UNIVIEW is a Windows™-based software package with graphical user interface for interactive, three-dimensional visualization, and simulation of mainly astronomical databases in real time. Using UNIVIEW you can vividly present and teach fundamentals and facts of astronomy, astrophysics, the geosciences and many other scientific relationships. The scope of presentation comprises, e.g., a detailed model of the International Space Station (ISS), planet Earth with its surface features and atmospheric properties, the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, and the cosmic microwave background as the limit of the observable universe. With special software technologies implemented, UNIVIEW permits simple spatial and temporal simulations. Labels, grids, axes of rotation and many other didactic functions, variable in color, extension and other properties help viewers understand the hierarchy and laws of motion of the celestial bodies. Recently, a coupling was developed to combine the digital and optical-mechanical projectors from ZEISS into a smart hybrid control with Uniview.

The company SCISS AB, based in Stockholm, Sweden, developed Uniview. ZEISS has sold licenses for the use of Uniview as a distribution partner of SCISS since 2005. SCISS filed for insolvency in January 2019. In the course of the insolvency proceedings, the assets of the former company were auctioned off in March 2019. ZEISS was awarded the contract and acquired the exclusive rights to all components of the Uniview software in the latest versions. On the basis of the acquired software, ZEISS will integrate Uniview into its powerdome systems and further develop the software. 

ZEISS makes every effort to provide users of Uniview and customers of SCISS with Colorspace systems appropriate support in the event of any problems, but asks for understanding that service and update obligations of a company that no longer exists cannot be continued.

Questions and Answers about the Acquisition of UNIVIEW™

Products and Distribution

Does ZEISS offer the Uniview software?

Yes. ZEISS offers Uniview as part of its software package for fulldome systems.

Which Uniview version does ZEISS offer as part of its software package for fulldome systems?

Currently, ZEISS systems are equipped with Uniview 2.1, an enhanced version of Uniview Version 2.0. ZEISS has acquired the exclusive rights to the software code for Uniview 3.0 from SCISS. Over time, significant improvements to this version will be incorporated into the ZEISS versions.

Will ZEISS continue the distribution of SCISS Uniview Versions 2.0/3.0?

The software in the version supplied by SCISS cannot be further distributed by ZEISS. ZEISS has not developed these versions and can therefore not accept product liability for the versions supplied by SCISS and cannot assume any guarantee for its functioning. ZEISS exclusively offers its own, further developed versions of Uniview.

Will ZEISS offer and deliver Colorspace systems?

No. We are happy to offer you our own fulldome solutions tailored to your needs, including hardware and software. We offer self-developed projector and software solutions and cooperate to a large extent with the same partners for computer hardware and projectors as formerly SCISS.

We had a local partner for Colorspace/Uniview system integration and support. Will ZEISS work with these partners?

ZEISS does not assume any distribution and cooperation agreements with SCISS, but will in many cases also cooperate with former SCISS partners, provided that existing ZEISS distribution and cooperation agreements permit this.

Upgrades and Support

Will ZEISS take care of bugs in the SCISS Uniview versions 2.0/3.0 and fix them if possible?

Updates developed by SCISS and containing bug fixes are still available. In addition, ZEISS will not make any changes to the versions supplied by SCISS. ZEISS will only correct errors within the ZEISS planetarium software, i.e. its own versions of Uniview. This includes, as far as practicable, errors derived from the original code.

What upgrades will ZEISS offer Uniview users in the future?

Upgrades require verification of the compatibility of existing hardware and software. Therefore, an overall upgrade version for Uniview does not exist. Please contact ZEISS to determine suitable solutions and for offers.

Will ZEISS offer software support for the SCISS Uniview versions 2.0/3.0?

The Ucare contracts agreed with SCISS are void with the insolvency of SCISS. We are working on a concept to continue software support in a modified form. We will inform Uniview users directly as soon as this concept is implemented. Questions and answers about functions and content can also be obtained through the Uniview User Group (https://groups.google.com/d/forum/uniview-user-group). This forum is independent of ZEISS. In case of problems with the software, users are welcome to contact us. Within the scope of our knowledge and resources, we will help to solve the problem. Depending on the effort and respective agreements, this support may be subject to a fee.

What will happen to the Uniview Support Forum?

The forum will be continued in the known form for the foreseeable future and will be available to all users who have acquired authorized access for the duration of the authorization. The new concept by ZEISS for software support will include access to the Support Forum (https://uniview.userecho.com/).

Does the Uniview User Group continue to exist?

The Uniview User Group is an initiative and is the responsibility of Uniview users and is independent of ZEISS. We assume that the forum will be maintained in an unchanged form.

We use a Colorspace system from SCISS. If the worst comes to the worst, can we count on support from ZEISS?

Please contact ZEISS with your questions and support requests. We will work with you on solutions on a case-by-case basis. A large part of the technical know-how is at our disposal. We will also cooperate with former SCISS partners for support.

Licenses

Can we get new license keys for Uniview 2.0 or 3.0?

The granting of new license keys entails product liability. Therefore, ZEISS cannot issue new license keys for the versions 2.0 / 3.0 of Uniview supplied by SCISS. The current powerdome version 4.0 contains the Uniview version 2.1, which has been further developed by ZEISS. We certainly assume product liability for this version and install the corresponding license keys.

My license key for Uniview 2.0 / 3.0 has expired or will expire shortly. How can it be extended?

If the license rights are proven, an update by ZEISS is in principle possible.

We use Uniview 2.0/3.0 Theater. Can we buy a license for Uniview Producer?

Unfortunately no, the same restriction applies as for new license keys.

We would like to use Uniview 2.0/3.0 on an additional workstation for production purposes or for additional display solutions. Do we need a new license?

If your contract with SCISS and the license keys used permit this, you can carry out additional installations. ZEISS cannot provide new license keys, see previous questions and answers.

We have a valid license for Uniview 3.0, but have not yet downloaded the software. Can we still do that?

Yes. Please contact us.

We have a license for Uniview 2.0 and already downloaded the installers for version 3.0. Can we get the Uniview 3.0 license key from ZEISS?

No. Unfortunately, this is not possible for reasons of product liability.

Online Data

What will become of Geoscope and the Domecasting solution?

The Geoscope Tilesets and the Domecasting solution are located on an external server. ZEISS has acquired the rights of use and will continue to operate the server on a long-term basis. However, we cannot guarantee availability for an unlimited time. We also reserve the right to change the platform and access conditions. Should there be any changes, we will contact all Uniview users in a timely manner.

Is access to the Uniview Ucare site still possible?

Yes, the Uniview Ucare site will be available to all users who have acquired authorized access for the duration of the authorization.

The Future of Uniview

Will ZEISS use the product name Uniview?

Yes. In the future we will offer Uniview as a stand-alone software solution for digital fulldome systems as well as a joint software solution with powerdome IV for fulldome and hybrid systems.

Will ZEISS continue to develop Uniview?

Yes. Further development may involve new priorities. We place particular emphasis on hybrid control with our opto-mechanical planetariums. Powerdome functions will be successively integrated into Uniview.

Can Uniview users influence the further development?

Absolutely. We are open for wishes and suggestions for improvement. We ask for your understanding that not all wishes can be fulfilled and that we have to set priorities.