Welcome to the Virtual Reality & Immersive Visualization Group
at RWTH Aachen University!

The Virtual Reality and Immersive Visualization Group started in 1998 as a service team in the RWTH IT Center. Since 2015, we are a research group (Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet) at i12 within the Computer Science Department. Moreover, the Group is member of the Visual Computing Institute and continues to be an integral part of the RWTH IT Center.

In a unique combination of research, teaching, services and infrastructure, we provide Virtual Reality technologies and the underlying methodology as a powerful tool for scientific-technological applications.

In terms of basic research, we develop advanced methods and algorithms for multimodal 3D user interfaces and explorative analyses in virtual environments. Furthermore, we focus on application-driven, interdisciplinary research in collaboration with RWTH Aachen institutes, Forschungszentrum Jülich, research institutions worldwide, and partners from business and industry, covering fields like simulation science, production technology, neuroscience, and medicine.

To this end, we are members of / associated with the following institutes and facilities:

Our offices are located in the RWTH IT Center, where we operate one the largest Virtual Reality labs worldwide. The aixCAVE, a 30 sqm visualization chamber, makes it possible to interactively explore virtual worlds, is open to use by any RWTH Aachen research group.

IEEE VR: Conference Commitee and Presentations

The Virtual Reality and Immersive Visualization Group decisively contributes to this year‘s IEEE Virtual Reality, starting on Sunday, March 18th, in Tübingen, Germany. Prof. Torsten W. Kuhlen is serving as General Chair, Dr. Benjamin Weyers as 3DUI Contest Chair and as Tutorial Chair, and Dr. Tom Vierjahn as Workshop Chair. In addition, the group presents overall six papers.

March 17, 2018

Andrea Bönsch on CASA2018 International Program Committee

Andrea Bönsch is serving on the International Program Committee for CASA2018, which will take place in Beijing, China. CASA is the oldest international conference in computer animation and social agents in the world.

Jan. 1, 2018

Dominik Rausch receives doctoral degree from RWTH Aachen University

Today, our colleague Dominik Rausch successfully passed his Ph.D. defense and received a doctoral degree from RWTH Aachen University for his thesis on "Modal Sound Synthesis for Interactive Virtual Environments". Congratulations!

Dec. 14, 2017

ICT Young Researcher Award 2017 for Andrea Bönsch

By means of a yearly award, the profile area "Information and Communication Technology" at RWTH Aachen University honors young researchers who contribute significantly to the ICT-related research and show the potential to further improve the international visibility of ICT research at RWTH Aachen University. Andrea Bönsch was selected by the Steering Committee of the profile area ICT as one of the recipient of the 2017 ICT Young Researcher Award. The award is donated with 3000 Euro, supporting her research career.

Nov. 16, 2017

Torsten Kuhlen gave an invited talk at the ART Days 2017 in Ottobrunn, Munich.

June 2, 2017

Profile Area Information and Communication Technology now on LinkedIn

The Profile Area Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) plays an important role in all global challenges the institutional strategy of RWTH Aachen University addresses. Major topics of ICT such as Smart Systems, eHealth & AAL, Wireless Communication or Data Mining have an enormous research potential and a considerable practical relevance. However, the challenges occurring in this fields can only be solved on an interdisciplinary level. Therefore, the RWTH Aachen University founded the interdisciplinary Profile Area ICT with the respective Project House ICT Foundations of a Digitized Industry, Economy, and Society. Both, the Visual Computing Institute as well as the Chair of Computer Science 12, are members of this Project House with, in total, three projects.

In order to share and discuss ICT related information, the Profile Area ICT now has a LinkedIn presence. So, visit our profile and follow us on LinkedIn.

May 15, 2017


Open Student Worker position in the research area of Virtual Humans

March 17, 2018

Recent Publications

Social VR: How Personal Space is Affected by Virtual Agents’ Emotions

to be published in: Proceedings of the IEEE Virtual Reality Conference, 2018

Personal space (PS), the flexible protective zone maintained around oneself, is a key element of everyday social interactions. It, e.g., affects people's interpersonal distance and is thus largely involved when navigating through social environments. However, the PS is regulated dynamically, its size depends on numerous social and personal characteristics and its violation evokes different levels of discomfort and physiological arousal. Thus, gaining more insight into this phenomenon is important. We contribute to the PS investigations by presenting the results of a controlled experiment in a CAVE, focusing on German males in the age of 18 to 30 years. The PS preferences of 27 participants have been sampled while they were approached by either a single embodied, computer-controlled virtual agent (VA) or by a group of three VAs. In order to investigate the influence of a VA's emotions, we altered their facial expression between angry and happy. Our results indicate that the emotion as well as the number of VAs approaching influence the PS: larger distances are chosen to angry VAs compared to happy ones; single VAs are allowed closer compared to the group. Thus, our study is a foundation for social and behavioral studies investigating PS preferences.


Does the Directivity of a Virtual Agent’s Speech Influence the Perceived Social Presence?

IEEE Virtual Humans and Crowds for Immersive Environments (VHCIE), 2018

When interacting and communicating with virtual agents in immersive environments, the agents’ behavior should be believable and authentic. Thereby, one important aspect is a convincing auralizations of their speech. In this work-in progress paper a study design to evaluate the effect of adding directivity to speech sound source on the perceived social presence of a virtual agent is presented. Therefore, we describe the study design and discuss first results of a prestudy as well as consequential improvements of the design.


Dynamic Field of View Reduction Related to Subjective Sickness Measures in an HMD-based Data Analysis Task

IEEE Virtual Reality Workshop on Everyday Virtual Reality 2018

Various factors influence the degree of cybersickness a user can suffer in an immersive virtual environment, some of which can be controlled without adapting the virtual environment itself. When using HMDs, one example is the size of the field of view. However, the degree to which factors like this can be manipulated without affecting the user negatively in other ways is limited. Another prominent characteristic of cybersickness is that it affects individuals very differently. Therefore, to account for both the possible disruptive nature of alleviating factors and the high interpersonal variance, a promising approach may be to intervene only in cases where users experience discomfort symptoms, and only as much as necessary. Thus, we conducted a first experiment, where the field of view was decreased when people feel uncomfortable, to evaluate the possible positive impact on sickness and negative influence on presence. While we found no significant evidence for any of these possible effects, interesting further results and observations were made.

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