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 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

October 1 - November 30

Monday9:30 AM - 10:50 AM1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday12:-15 PM - 3:30 PM
Wednesday 9:30 AM - 10:50 AM1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 12:-15 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday12:-15 PM - 3:00 PM

Staffed hours may change without notice.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

HTC Vive

The HTC Vive is a room-scale virtual reality headset that uses hand controllers for interaction. Our setup is housed in the same 14′ by 14′ foot “mixed reality” space as the HTC Vive Pro and includes the Deluxe Audio Strap and the TPCAST wireless adapter for using the Vive untethered from the computer. The Garage has many games, apps, and experiences available through 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.

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.

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.

Phone Video Kit

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

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.