Back to all press releases

June 16, 2015

Oculus Rift proves its worth as a research tool


Can you test what kind of security you’ll get out of a dynamic design that has yet to be built? Yes, you can! The new Willem II Passage in Tilburg is still under construction, but anyone who’s interested can already take a cycling tour of the passage by way of virtual simulation and an Oculus Rift headset.

VanBerlo has developed a design series of interactive lighting in the new Willem II Passage. Thanks to this series of simulations, residents can test the lighting before the tunnel is built. They can adjust to the idea, and a focus group will test the interactive light wall to determine which design feels the safest. Virtual Reality (VR) and Oculus Rift are important tools in the adaptation and design process. Come try the advanced simulation for yourself before 19 June in the Kennismakerij (knowledge centre) in Tilburg.

Oculus Rift

VR is on the rise. Companies like Facebook, HTC, Sony and Microsoft are currently developing this technology, and Oculus Rift is the best-known product to date. Using Oculus Rift VR glasses, you can transport yourself visually into a three dimensional virtual environment. Although Oculus Rift got its start in the game world, it's now used in architecture, design and research. A prime example: VanBerlo's Willem II Passage project. Currently, Oculus Rift is only available as a developers' kit. However, the consumer version is expected to be out soon.

Willem II Passage

The Willem II Passage in Tilburg, designed by architecture firm The Cloud Collective, will connect the city of Tilburg with the Spoorzone (Railway Zone) by the end of this year. An important part of the new passage is the interactive light wall, lighting that can detect people using the tunnel and respond to them. At the request of the municipality of Tilburg, VanBerlo was commissioned to study how interactive lighting can give an improved sense of security. The three most promising scenarios have been three-dimensionally developed in collaboration with Righteous Games.
But how are the lighting scenarios tested? By cycling on the special training bike whilst wearing a pair of Oculus Rift VR glasses! Once you start cycling the simulation begins and you find yourself in the virtual Willem II Passage and see the interactive light wall. The simulations show the various lighting patterns and ask questions along the way. Valuable feedback that will be considered in the further passage and lighting development planning. This makes the Oculus Rift VR simulation an indispensable link in the research and adaptation process.

Immersive experience

VanBerlo applies VR technology to media production and design projects. This makes it possible to experience to-scale designs at an early stage, to test and assess them more completely. An immersive and cost-effective experience that used to be looked upon as 'futuristic'… until recently. A fascinating development for business but also for the public sector.

Are you going to be in or around Tilburg shortly? You have until 19 June to take a virtual cycling tour of the Willem II Passage. Walk in to the Kennismakerij in the Spoorzone via Building 88 and give it a try!

Like to learn more about this press release?

Get in touch with Marlon

+31 (0) 40 29 29 090