Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies presents several benefits for application in simulation and training. These technologies are relatively new and require active research in various use cases and application domains. Developing and testing VR projects requires space and a wide range of technologies. Every project has different device and room layout requirements. Studies need to be conducted in different settings with different people, including easy access for movement impaired individuals as well as additional safety precautions for children.
For projects like our project EVElyn, a medical study on different phobias and their treatment, there can be a lot of requirements and constraints. Besides the space required for people to comfortably work and walk around, there are a lot of technological requirements. Since these can drastically change with constant introduction of new state-of-the-art VR and AR Hardware, a flexible research setting was needed that can be adjust to any use case on the fly.
The Holodeck is a sizeable laboratory made for research in virtual- and augmented-reality. It is outfitted with a lot of technical equipment and working spaces, including an area that is reserved for walking around in virtual worlds. With a truss system that spans the whole room, devices can be mounted anywhere they are needed.
The Holodeck also includes a full-body maker-less tracking system which has over a dozen cameras mounted around the walking space and can track users without the need of preparing additional markers, relying on visual data captured by the cameras. With its versatility of being able to allow students and coworkers to act in tandem, while also providing the space needed for conducting studies and relaxation, it can easily be suited to any needs.
The Holodeck is actively used to conduct research in these areas: