Virtual Reality Group

There is little doubt that media technologies like computers or mobile phones substantially affect our society. But for more than 20 years engineers, computer scientists, and social scientists worked together on a new type of technology – Virtual Reality. Related innovations are now leaving the labs and entering offices and living rooms. Driven by billions of investments from major tech companies, VR and related augmented reality devices become consumer-grade technology. And they are here to stay. VR is of growing importance in the health domain, entertainment, social medium, training and education, engineering, and work-related interactions. VR also enjoys growing importance as a research method to study real-world behaviour.

Studying VR is a truly interdisciplinary endeavour. VU scholars, therefore, work together to more fully understand how VR “works”, and how it can be utilized as an effective tool to trigger desirable outcomes and to examine the impact of VR on our society.

To foster this development, Marco Otte, Chief technology officer at the Network Institute, and Tilo Hartmann, head of the department of Communication Science, decided to set up this Virtual Reality Group (“VR@VU”). The group is dedicated to bring together interested VU scholars that study VR, increasing visibility, enhancing the breadth and quality of VR research at the VU, and joining forces in advancing VR research infrastructure. The VU’s Connected World program and the Network Institute’s interdisciplinary focus on studying digital society provide a very good fit for such a group. The NI’s tech labs feature cutting-edge VR technology that is accessible for empirical VR studies. So let’s go virtual!
You are very welcome to join the VR@VU group and help advancing VR research at the VU!

Want to know more about the user’s experience in VR, or how users experience immersive XR technologies or the metaverse in general? Or are you interested in how these immersive technologies affect people and society? Tilo Hartmann (Professor of VR and Communication) adopts media psychology to understand why users choose, how they experience, and how they are affected by immersive technologies. Tilo has examined users’ subjective experience, their sense of reality and feelings of presence, and their adoption of and persuasive effects of VR, to name a few. He’s also really interested in all social aspects of the metaverse. He’s here in case you have any questions or concerns about the effects of immersive technology like VR on users or more general questions about researching these technologies.

Are you interested in using VR for research, but unsure how to integrate your ideas into VR? Marco Otte (Manager of Tech Labs) can help convert your ideas into a practical application that can then be used for your data collection in one of our labs. Marco has over a decade of experience in developing custom applications and solutions for academic research in VR, among other things (like the integration of biometrics). Anything goes; from just quick advice to the full development of your desired application. It’s all part of the toolbox at Network Institute’s Tech Labs. He’s here in case you have any questions about integrating your research into VR.

A community for AR/VR research, what does that entail? Nora Oostrom (Student Assistant) is here to help advance research in XR for scholars at the VU, for the coming academic year. She organizes events, talks to the members who are currently working on research and keeps all the members up to date on developments within the community. Nora can be contacted here in case you have any questions regarding the community itself, if you want to be a member or in case you have suggestions to help grow our initiative.

Have you conducted an experiment with VR and do you want to show your students? Linde Voorend (Educational Support, University Library) manages VR glasses in the Tech Lab (NU 1A-25). In this space, lecturers and students can use the glasses (and 3D printers) in an educational context. Together with the VU, let’s make students enthusiastic about immersive technology by showing your research application. Linde will help with the logistical and technical aspects. You can contact her if you want to know more about the possibilities.


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Latest News
European Funding for XR Research - Have you heard about the European Media and Immersion Lab (EMIL)? Their mission is to accelerate the development of virtual,… Continue reading
Training mentalization in Virtual Reality - For our Mentalizing project (see here) we've recently created a nice promotional video to tell people about the application. Enjoy! Continue reading
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XR ON TOUR! - SURF and the Network Institute will co-host XR ON TOUR event. The Network Institute will have VR-demos ready at the… Continue reading
Launch event of the Use-Me Art and Science projects! - Last week was the launch event of the Use-Me Art and Science project. The project challenges the VU community to… Continue reading

Click for all VR News on Network Institute website

Current members

Tilo Hartmann Communication Science [VU]
Marco Otte Network Institute [Tech Labs VU]
Nora Oostrom XR Community Manager [VU]
Linde Voorend VU Library [VU]
Isabel Florence Franke Social Psychology [VU]
Martin Gevonden Biology Psychology [VU]
Tina van der Linden Internet Law [VU]
Vana Hutter Motor Learning & Performance [VU]
Lisanne Kleygrewe Motor Learning & Performance [VU]
David Mann Motor Learning & Performance [VU]
Daniel Müller Motor Learning & Performance [VU]
Charlotte Gerritsen Artificial Intelligence [VU]
Erik Haeringen Artificial Intelligence [VU]
Chris van Klaveren Methods and Statistics [VU]
Jelte Bos Sensorimotor Control [VU]
Tara Donker Clinical Psychology [VU]
Paula Sterkenburg Clinical Child and Family Studies [VU]
Maaike van Rest Clinical Child and Family Studies [VU]
Veerle Andries Developmental Pedagogy [VU]
Sui Lin Goei Secondary Education [VU]
Freek van Ede Cognitive Psychology [VU]
Babak Chawoush Cognitive Psychology [VU]
Victor de Boer Business Web and Media [VU]
Claudia Libbi Faculty of Science [VU]
Hande Sungur [University of Amsterdam]
Zeph van Berlo [University of Amsterdam]