FHWS building at Sanderheinrichsleitenweg Würzburg

Students in park (c) Jonas Kron

Student at machine (c) Stefan Bausewein

Students working in a group (c) Jonas Kron

Virtual Reality Lab

What is virtual reality?

The term Virtual Reality (VR) was coined by Jaron Lanier during the 1980s. On the one hand, it refers to the illusion of the senses caused by an artificially created environment, and on the other hand, it also refers to the field that deals with the implementation of VR. The discipline comprises a mixture of computer graphics, projection technology, perception psychology and the human-machine interface.

From today’s perspective, VR means the representation of a virtual object in 3D (stereoscopic representation). It is characterised by three features: working in a real-time environment, immersion and interactivity.

Immersion

The term “immersion” has its roots in the Latin verb “immergere”, which means “to plunge in, to sink”. The user plunges in a computer generated, artificial world – a so called virtual reality. This happens by means of stereoscopic representation (3D). The user is integrated into a virtual world by including senses such as sight, hearing and touch. Stereoscopy is a spatial imaging technique in which the image of a three-dimensional objective is perceived spatially. In an ideal virtual environment, the viewer can no longer distinguish between reality and virtuality. This is realised via various output devices, such as 3D monitors, projection screens with 3D glasses, head-mounted displays etc.

Interaction

The term “interaction” has also its root in Latin. “Inter” means “among” and “action” comes from “agere” which is the verb for “to act”. The viewer has the opportunity to actively influence objects or environments, i.e. to interact with the immersive environment. This is realised with input devices such as VR suit, flysticks, targets.

Working in a real-time environment

By real-time environment, we mean interaction in real-time. Each of the users’ activities is implemented immediately and thus differs from video animations.

While users at a conventional computer workstation has to content themselves with the two-dimensional representation and the strongly limited possibilities of interaction with mouse or keyboard, immersive techniques create an apparent reality that enables the users to interact as they are accustomed to in reality.

Important for the effective implementation of Virtual Reality is a large-format representation of the data (by a large projection surface), a stereoscopic representation (e.g. passive image separation by polarizing filter glasses), the possibility of perspective adjustment by a tracking system, as well as the intuitive interaction possibility by an input device.

Informational video of the Virtual Reality Lab

Video about the VR Lab at FHWS

Contact person

Head of lab

Prof. Dr. Uwe Sponholz
Phone: 09721 940-8409
Fax: 09721 940-9710
E-mail: uwe.sponholz[at]fhws.de

Lab staff

Florian Schuster
Phone: 0931 940-8591
Fax: 09721 940-9710
E-mail: florian.schuster[at]fhws.de

Address

University of Applied Sciences
Würzburg-Schweinfurt

Virtual Reality Lab – Room 11.E.11
Ignaz-Schön-Straße 11
97421 Schweinfurt
Phone: 09721 940-9740
Fax: 09721 940-9710
E-mail: vr[at]fhws.de

Links and downloads

Link to the website of the Virtual Reality Lab

Link to the overview page of laboratories of the Faculty of Business and Engineering

Link to the info page of the Business and Engineering degree programme