AR / VR Lab

The AR/VR Lab

The Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Lab contains some of the most cutting-edge head-mounted displays available today. Residents of The Garage have access to the technology for the development of VR and AR software, and the Lab also functions as a photography and videography studio. All students, faculty and staff of Northwestern are welcome to visit for a VR/AR demo during staffed hours. The last demo ends 15 minutes before the end of each shift. Come check it out!

Staffed Hours

Monday10:15AM - 2:30PM 
Tuesday12:30PM - 1:30PM & 3:30PM-5:00PM
Wednesday10:15AM - 5:00PM
Thursday10:00AM - 1:45PM
Friday10:15AM - 1:45PM


HTC Vive

The HTC Vive is a room-scale virtual reality headset, where the user can walk around a dedicated 14 by 14 foot space in The Garage and use hand controllers for interaction. This includes a mixed reality setup with a green screen and positionally tracked video camera, which allows for recording and placing a person’s image into the VR experience they’re playing. The Garage has many games, apps, and experiences available through Steam.

HTC Vive Trackers

The Vive Trackers are small pucks that can be positionally tracked in VR like the HTC Vive headset or hand controllers. The Garage has three Vive Trackers for VR development and other novel uses. For example, they can be attached to someone’s feet and torso, and when used with the Vive headset and controllers, they allow for full-body motion tracking, which is useful for VR and non-VR applications.

Microsoft HoloLens

HoloLens is a mixed reality headset based on the new Windows Holographic software platform. Mixed reality is a combination of augmented reality, virtual reality, and holograms. The HoloLens is a completely wireless and self-contained computer headset, running Windows 10 and displaying holograms on a transparent display. We have many holographic apps developed specifically for HoloLens available.

Oculus Rift + Touch

The Oculus Rift + Touch combines an ergonomic virtual reality headset with Touch, an advanced set of hand controllers that can roughly track the positions of individual fingers, which allow for unique VR experiences. Combined with our three sensor setup, they allow for room-scale experiences in an approximately 9 foot by 9 foot space. The Garage has many exclusive games, apps, and experiences through Oculus Home and Steam.


The Tango Development Kit is an Android tablet with special sensors and cameras to enable unique mobile augmented reality experiences. It is capable of motion tracking, depth sensing, and other computer vision applications.

Google Daydream

Daydream is Google’s new mobile VR platform. The Garage has two Daydream headsets, which are compatible with our Moto Z smartphones. The comfortable headset includes a small motion controller that allows for immersive mobile VR experiences.

Oculus DK2 and Leap Motion

The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) is a virtual reality headset, first released in 2014. The Garage has two DK2s to facilitate development of VR applications. Each DK2 box also includes the Leap Motion wireless hand tracking device with VR mount, which allows for finger tracking in VR applications.

Microsoft Kinect 2.0

The Garage has two second-generation Microsoft Kinects and Windows adapters, allowing for their use with PCs. The Kinect is a great device for experimenting with body tracking, hand tracking, and computer vision applications.

Photo/Video Equipment

The VR/AR Lab has a photography and videography setup complete with a green screen and flooring, adjustable lights, and recording equipment. This includes the Canon XA10 camcorder, Rode shotgun mic, 360fly 4K camera, Manfrotto tripod, and more.