About You & Us

You and Sky-Skan: A Match Made in The Heavens

In 1923 Germany’s Carl Zeiss company debuted the first projection planetarium. Its sole intent was to display the sky as seen by the unaided eye. A marvelous invention, it depicted everything ancient philosophers knew about the heavens.

The very next year, Edwin Hubble discovered the astounding distance and scale of the Spiral Nebula in Andromeda. Depicted as just a fuzzy oval in the planetarium sky, it became an “island universe” of billions of suns, millions of light-years beyond our own Milky Way.

Before the decade was out, we knew that the Universe is expanding. Fewer than three decades later, an artificial satellite was orbiting our world: The space age was underway. Sky-Skan was founded in 1967, in the middle of the space race, to help planetariums–then equipped to simulate obscurities such as gegenschein and retrograde loops–be dramatically relevant to people curious about supernovas, black holes, Mars missions, and the Blue Planet seen as a whole.


Sky-Skan’s Driving Force: You!

Motivated by the desire to help your planetarium be awesome and relevant, we have made widely available more innovative “firsts” than any other company:

  • 1960s: A wide and growing range of optical special effects
  • 1970s: Reliable manual show control systems
  • 1980s: SPICE Automation, the first computer-based show control system specifically designed for planetariums
  • 1990s: Randomly accessible video special effects against super-black backgrounds, on Laserdisc
  • 1990s: Interactive Audience Polling technology for visitor-driven shows
  • 1990s: DigiDome software for computer processing of digital images to make perfectly blended slides for panorama and all-sky projection
  • 1998: Video-based full color slewing Sun and Moon projectors for the Digistar 2.
  • 1998: First commercially available fulldome video playback system
  • 2000: First production tools for fulldome video “Sky-Suite”.
  • 2002: First commercially available PC-based fulldome color, real-time digital planetarium system based on affordable commodity off-the-shelf hardware (demonstration was at IPS 2002 Wichita, Kansas)
  • 2006: First digital fulldome system in 4K resolution
  • 2007: First digital fulldome system featuring stereoscopic 3D
  • 2008: First digital fulldome system in 8K resolution
  • 2010: First LED Cove Lighting designed especially for planetariums
  • 2013: First 8K fulldome shows available in 60fps and 3D Stereo
  • 2018: First digital fulldome system in 10K resolution

Sky-Skan’s unmatched legacy of planetarium innovation inspired the International Planetarium Society (IPS) to create a new award, the IPS Technology & Innovation Award, which was bestowed for the first time in 2008. Sky-Skan’s then president Steve Savage was the honored recipient.

Your success has always been the goal that drives us. It still is.