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 AR/VR demo during staffed hours. The last demo ends 15 minutes before the end of each shift. Come check it out!

Staffed Hours


Hours may change without notice

Samsung Odyssey

The Samsung Odyssey is a Windows Mixed Reality headset. Like the HoloLens, it uses inside-out tracking, so no external accessories are needed to positionally track the headset and hand controllers. However, it is a virtual reality headset that runs off of a tethered Windows PC, like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. It has the highest resolution screen out of all the VR headsets at The Garage, and it runs games and experiences through the Microsoft Store and Steam.

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive is a room-scale virtual reality headset that uses hand controllers for interaction. Our setup is housed in a dedicated 14’ by 14’ space and includes the TPCAST wireless adapter for using the Vive untethered from the computer. Our green screens and flooring allow for “mixed reality” recordings that place a person’s image into the game 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 games, development, and other novel uses. For example, when attached to the feet and torso and 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 Windows Mixed Reality headset, combining augmented reality, virtual reality, and holograms. It is a completely wireless and self-contained computer headset that runs Windows 10. It displays holograms on a transparent display and is controlled through voice and hand gestures. We have many holographic apps developed specifically for HoloLens available through the Microsoft Store.

Oculus Rift + Touch

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

Google Tango

Tango is an augmented reality computing platform by Google. The Garage has the Tango Development Kit, 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 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.