The Darmstadt Civil, Environmental and Safety Engineering Lab (DACES) allows the scientific staff of the IIB to use the latest visualization and interaction techniques in an immersive, virtual environment for their research topics.
The designated area for Virtual Reality (VR) applications spans a surface of five by five meters allowing users to explore virtual worlds in all their variety utilizing a vast range of different options. If that is not enough, the Cyberith Virtualizer (s. illustration) enables characters to move beyond real physical limits and access the infinite possibilities of the digital realm. This allows for endless opportunities regarding the interaction through VR-Glasses/-Headsets and controllers. The devices currently in use include mainly the HTC Vive as well as the Oculus Rift.
A 5.1 surround sound system enables the necessary audio support on the way to complete immersion. In order for the player not to interfere with cables or other persons, along with the designated play area an automated cable management is installed in lab. Additionally, a Microsoft Kinect is connected to the system in order to include other persons in a certain space within the VR experience.
Furthermore, there is a stereo projector, which is able to provide both an active stereoscopic visualization (using LCD shutter glasses) and a passive projection based on interference filters (Anaglyph). With a 3000 mm wide and 1688 mm high screen running at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD – 16: 9), the VR environment and its systems provide a unique feeling of immersion – complete with individual objects on a scale of 1:1. This results in almost limitless possibilities to utilize Virtual Reality for research purposes such as fire, evacuation and energy simulations while taking advantage of the numerous qualities.
We also offer regular workshops and/or hackathons at the DACES VR lab. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are interested. This also applies to further cooperation regarding work and research projects.
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The video shows an initial version of the institute's very own fire extinguishing simulation in VR using the HTC Vive and a fire extinguisher. Tracking allows us to accurately display and use real world objects in the virtual environment, creating an immersive fire extinguishing scenario.