Experiencing Virtual Reality
DAF Technology Lab
The DAF Technology Lab provides high-tech facilities for students, researchers, and the business community. The combination of technology and behavioral sciences expertise offers unique possibilities for innovative teaching and research. The DAF Technology Lab consists of two spaces: the Experience Room and the Research Room.
Virtual reality in the Experience room
In the Experience Room of the DAF Technology Lab, eight projectors deliver razor-sharp 2D or 3D images on all four walls. Groups of up to fifteen people can thus experience an intense level of realism in various virtual environments. Interaction with this virtual reality is achieved by using a remote control. The Experience Room provides a unique collaborative mixed reality environment ideal for collaborative training, teaching, and research opportunities.
Observation and research in the Research Room
The research space contains facilities to observe, register, and analyze data recorded by sensing technologies in the Experience Room, as well as to program new virtual reality situations.
In addition, an ‘Oculus Rift Head-Mounted Display’ is available in the Research Room, allowing for a strictly personal virtual reality experience. While the Experience Room provides a collaborative mixed reality environment, the Head-Mounted Display allows users to have a virtual experience not restricted by walls.
In the Experience Room, students can set to work in a virtual version of their future work environment: a court room, a hospital, or the boardroom of an international company, practicing their presentation or negotiation skills. Furthermore, VR projection is particularly suited to elucidate complicated concepts through visualization, for abstract data visualizations and, for example, to explain the way the brain works by moving around in the brain picking up the various brain areas. This makes knowledge transfer more intensive and hence more effective.
The Experience Room is large enough to accommodate a group of fifteen people, thus creating a mixed reality: the projections on the walls in combination with the physical presence of other people and attributes.
Opportunities for innovative research
Given its virtual and mixed reality opportunities, the lab is also an interesting research space for research. Participants in experiments can be easily exposed to different and unexpected (virtual) situations and (virtual) stressors. Experiencing hazardous situations and responding to those situations is safer and more controllable. Expertise at Tilburg University to analyze data from sensing technologies allows for an insight in user behavior across a variety of (virtual) situations.
The lab is also equipped with sensing technology. It will allow researchers to monitor a whole range of conscious and unconscious reactions in test subjects. What do they look at when exposed to images of a refugee camp? What are their physical reactions?
Cooperation with the business community
The DAF Technology Lab provides unique opportunities for the business community. The expertise in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and behavioral and research methods provides Tilburg University with opportunities for corporate partnerships mapping onto its motto “Understanding Society”. A range of companies have started successful collaborations with researchers at Tilburg University, ranging from topics related to economics and management, law and ethics, behavioral sciences, humanities and information technology.
A philanthropic contribution by the PACCAR Foundation has made the DAF Technology Lab possible.
The DAF Technology Lab has partially been realized due to a contribution of the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union.