Virtual Human Interaction Lab – Stanford University

{ Lab Tour }


The VHIL VR Lab integrates technology that can stimulate three of the human senses at once —spatialized sound, virtual touch (haptics), and three-dimensional imagery. The lab features cutting edge equipment for tracking motion, rendering graphics, and displaying visual, aural, and haptic information. Kornberg Associates Architects have collaborated with Worldviz LLC, the world's leading virtual reality creators, and Stanford University to renovate all aspects of the lab.

The lab includes a multisensory room that allows participants to explore a 20 by 20 foot space with spatialized sound, floor shakers, and a new head-mounted display (HMD). The HMD is tethered to a ceiling mount and allows an unrestricted range of motion in the multisensory room. In addition, the spatialized sound system makes sounds "move" around the lab space and allows users to hear natural and realistic aural information without relying on headphones. Surface motion is incorporated into experiments through the installation of floor shakers. Controlled vibrations give users the sensation of movement, which will increase the compelling nature of the virtual world. At one moment, a user may feel immersed in an earthquake simulation, while the next moment the sensations may simulate crossing a suspension bridge.

A two-walled Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) is another integral part of the lab. The CAVE consists of 70-inch diagonal 3D displays, which means colors and definition will be crisper than typical projection systems. In contrast with the HMD based virtual reality, the CAVE permits less range of motion but allows users to experience virtual environments without wearing any hardware.

All of these features are controlled in a single room that has the power to simultaneously operate the activities in four separate virtual reality simulation spaces. This integrated design increases the efficiency of the experiments and allow researchers to have greater control of the different settings in these virtual worlds.

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Take a tour of the virtual future at Stanford Take a tour of the virtual future at Stanford, Stanford Report

Public Tours

There are no available public tours of the lab at this time.