Since its inception in 1998, the Virtual Reality Group at RWTH Aachen University’s IT Center has focused on two aspects: to conduct application-oriented research in and provide access to methodology from the fields of Virtual Reality, human computer interaction, and immersive visualization.
In contrast to other divisions at the IT Center, the Virtual Reality Group mainly relies on third party funding – be it from federal agencies or industrial partners; in most cases, this funding stems from interdisciplinary collaboration projects. This approach is reflected in our self-conception: to help our collaborators do science and get to do science in the process.
To this purpose, the Virtual Reality Group operates one the the largest VR labs in the world. Equipment and facilities range from small, desktop-scale systems to the large facilities such as the aixCAVE, a 30 sqm visualization chamber which makes it possible to interactively explore virtual worlds. Supported by the Immersive Visualization Services team, this infrastructure is open to use by any RWTH Aachen institute.
The research activities of the VRG focus on application-driven and at times interdsciplinary projects, in collaboration with RWTH Aachen institutes, Forschungszentrum Jülich, research institutions worldwide, and partners from business and industry. On the content level, the VRG investigates and develops advanced methods of human-computer interaction, approaches to allow immersive visualization of complex simulation data, and parallel visualization algorithms.
Due to the singular combination of services, infrastructure, and research, the VRG is in a position to provide and make available VR technologies and the underlying methodology as a potent tool for scientific-technological applications.