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.

Are you interested in Unity and the Microsoft HoloLens®? Do you want to work as a student assistants in our group? Then have a look here.

Aug. 11, 2017

Successful Event „VR in Industry“

Due to the current hype of the discipline of Virtual Reality (VR) evoked by top-quality and affordable VR devices on the markets, some issues arise in Industry: How can VR be optimally integrated into the existing processes? Which hardware and software are required? Which costs are incurred for a company?

To answer these questions we teamed up with the TEMA Technologie Marketing AG, and organized as well as partially hosted "The VR in Industry Days in Aachen" on July, 4th to 5th.


July 14, 2017

Successful Presentations at ISC'17

At this year's International Supercomputing Conference from June 18 - 22, 2017 in Frankfurt scientists of the JARA-HPC presented latest research results at the exhibition and organized a workshop on In Situ Visualization.


June 29, 2017

Honorable Mention

The Honorable Mention for the best Short Paper of the 19th EG/VGTC Conference on Visualization (EuroVis 2017) was given to Claudia Hänel and Ali Can Demiralp for their paper entitled "Interactive Level-of-Detail Visualization of 3D Polarized Light Imaging Data Using Spherical Harmonics".

June 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

Recent Publications

Measuring Insight into Multi-dimensional Data from a Combination of a Scatterplot Matrix and a HyperSlice Visualization

International Conference on Digital Human Modeling and Applications in Health, Safety, Ergonomics and Risk Management 2017

Understanding multi-dimensional data and in particular multi-dimensional dependencies is hard. Information visualization can help to understand this type of data. Still, the problem of how users gain insights from such visualizations is not well understood. Both the visualizations and the users play a role in understanding the data. In a case study, using both, a scatterplot matrix and a HyperSlice with six-dimensional data, we asked 16 participants to think aloud and measured insights during the process of analyzing the data. The amount of insights was strongly correlated with spatial abilities. Interestingly, all users were able to complete an optimization task independently of self-reported understanding of the data.


Interactive Level-of-Detail Visualization of 3D-Polarized Light Imaging Data Using Spherical Harmonics

19th EG/VGTC Conference on Visualization (EuroVis 2017)

3D-Polarized Light Imaging (3D-PLI) provides data that enables an exploration of brain fibers at very high resolution. However, the visualization poses several challenges. Beside the huge data set sizes, users have to visually perceive the pure amount of information which might be, among other aspects, inhibited for inner structures because of occlusion by outer layers of the brain. We propose a clustering of fiber directions by means of spherical harmonics using a level-of-detail structure by which the user can interactively choose a clustering degree according to the zoom level or details required. Furthermore, the clustering method can be used for the automatic grouping of similar spherical harmonics automatically into one representative. An optional overlay with a direct vector visualization of the 3D-PLI data provides a better anatomical context.

Honorable Mention for Best Short Paper!


Utilizing Immersive Virtual Reality in Everyday Work

Workshop on Everyday Virtual Reality (WEVR)

Applications of Virtual Reality (VR) have been repeatedly explored with the goal to improve the data analysis process of users from different application domains, such as architecture and simulation sciences. Unfortunately, making VR available in professional application scenarios or even using it on a regular basis has proven to be challenging. We argue that everyday usage environments, such as office spaces, have introduced constraints that critically affect the design of interaction concepts since well-established techniques might be difficult to use. In our opinion, it is crucial to understand the impact of usage scenarios on interaction design, to successfully develop VR applications for everyday use. To substantiate our claim, we define three distinct usage scenarios in this work that primarily differ in the amount of mobility they allow for. We outline each scenario's inherent constraints but also point out opportunities that may be used to design novel, well-suited interaction techniques for different everyday usage environments. In addition, we link each scenario to a concrete application example to clarify its relevance and show how it affects interaction design.

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