Virtually virtual

We will be moving our research lab here at NYU sometime in the next year to larger and fancier new digs. Needless to say, there have been a lot of meetings about this to plan out the space, work through the details, and make sure our new location will be everything we want it to be.

In particular, we will be getting a much nicer and larger virtual reality lab. Right now that VR lab exists only as a set of plans. Over the course of the coming months, a lot of construction work will be done to make it a reality.

Fortunately, the architects were kind enough to send us digital files that specify the size and shape of everything. This includes ductwork, columns, window locations, and all the myriad details that are part and parcel of a professional work environment.

That information was enough for our research team to create a virtual reality version of the envisioned space. Donning our VIVE headsets, we can walk around in the not-yet-real space, and experiment with lighting, furniture placement, configurations of the wired ceiling grid, and all the other details that go into making a successful VR lab.

It occurs to me that there is something very meta about all this. We are using our research in virtual reality to design a space for doing research in virtual reality.

How cool is that?

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