AR / VR / Media Lab

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

Staffed Hours

There are currently no staffed hours scheduled.

Image of the Magic Leap headset

Magic Leap One

The Magic Leap One is a standalone mixed reality headset that displays holograms on a transparent display. It offers several unique features compared to HoloLens, including a larger field of view, two visual focus planes, eye tracking, and a positionally tracked controller. Like the HoloLens, it can map its environment, allowing for the interaction of real-world and virtual objects. Experiences are available through Magic Leap’s Lumin OS.

Image of HTC Vive Pro headset

HTC Vive Pro

The HTC Vive Pro is an upgraded version of the original HTC Vive, with a much higher resolution screen that matches the Samsung Odyssey. Our setup includes the Vive Wireless Adapter for untethered use, and it’s housed in a dedicated 14’ by 14’ space with green screens and flooring. This space allows 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.

Image of Vive Tracker

HTC Vive Trackers

The HTC 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 capture, which is useful for VR and non-VR applications.

Image of HoloLens headset

Microsoft HoloLens

HoloLens is a Windows Mixed Reality headset that can map its environment to allow for realistic interaction of holograms with the real world. 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.

Image of Oculus Go VR headset

Oculus Go

The Oculus Go is a standalone virtual reality headset, meaning it doesn’t require a computer or a smartphone to function. Like other mobile VR headsets, it and its included controller only have three degrees of freedom tracking. Games, apps, and experiences are available through the Oculus Store, including many apps available to the Samsung Gear VR.

Image of Oculus Rift

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.

Image Samsung Odyssey VR headset

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 Oculus Rift. Along with the HTC Vive Pro, it has the highest resolution screen out of all the VR headsets at The Garage. It runs games and experiences through the Microsoft Store and Steam.

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.

Lightform LF1 Kit

The Lightform LF1 Kit uses computer vision and custom software to allow for easy projection mapping projects. It contains the LF1 vision hardware, an Epson projector, and a tripod. Through the Lightform Creator software, you can scan an environment and design projected AR visuals that interact with the depth, colors, and shapes of the scanned space.

Image of Microsoft Kinect

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.

Image of Ricoh Theta camera

Ricoh THETA V 360 4K Spherical VR Camera

The THETA V features two 12MP sensors and a twin-lens optical system that captures two wide-angle images and automatically stitches them into one complete spherical image.

Canon XA10 Video Camera

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.

Podcasting Kit

Our podcasting kit has all the professional equipment needed for high-quality podcast recording. It includes the RØDECaster Pro, an all-in-one setup with four microphone channels, programmable soundboard, SD recording, and Bluetooth connection for making calls with your phone. Four microphones and headphones complete the kit, housed in a portable case.

Miniature Podcasting Kit

Our miniature podcasting kit contains the Zoom H6 portable recorder, two swappable microphones, and a convenient case for taking the kit on-the-go.

Phone Video Kit

Everything you need to record a simple video with your phone. Kit includes a tripod mount, microphone, LED light.

Image of Mortal Kombat arcade cabinet

Mortal Kombat II

Mortal Kombat II is a video game, originally released in 1993 for arcade cabinets. Our cabinet was rescued in nonworking condition from a dumpster, fully restored at The Garage, and retrofitted to play hundreds of classic arcade games in addition to Mortal Kombat II.