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Three extended reality projects of HKA nominated for nationwide DIVR Science Award

Award for particularly innovative projects in Augmented & Virtual Reality

July 12, 2021

The Places _ Virtual Reality Festival is Germany's first, largest, freely accessible and free festival for virtual reality (VR). Aimed equally at a professional and a broad general public in particular, it has been taking place in Gelsenkirchen-Ückendorf since 2018. It is sponsored and co-organized respectively by the Ministry of Economics of North Rhine-Westphalia, the City of Gelsenkirchen, and the German Institute for Virtual Reality (DIVR).

Extended Reality technologies are "coming of age" and more and more useful and practice-oriented fields of application are emerging. Especially at research institutes and universities the potential of these technologies and the speed of their development becomes apparent. In order to honor the outstanding work from the university environment, the DIVR in cooperation with the Places _ VR Festival annually awards the DIVR Science Award, which honors the most innovative applications and concepts. The prize is awarded in three categories:

  • "Best concept": The most innovative approach, the most creative use of extended reality or the most exciting experiment in the competition is awarded.
  • "Best impact": The project that has the greatest potential to initiate or accelerate social change. Prototypes must already make this potential comprehensible.
  • "Best tech": The application or product that stands out due to its convincing, application-ready realization.

Among the projects nominated for this year's award are three from Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, which were developed by students at the Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics. A total of 46 competition entries were submitted, of which 21 were nominated for an award , making HKA the university with the most nominations nationwide.

The nominated HKA projects are:

  • "Enter the Hindenburg": In the Augmented & Virtual Reality course of Prof. Dr. Matthias Wölfel with Daniel Hepperle and in project work for the Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, students of the Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems developed a virtual model of the airship "Hindenburg", with users slipping into the role of an engineer who accompanies the construction and finally takes off for a virtual sightseeing flight over Lake Constance. Among other things, this allows the dimensions of the airship, which are otherwise difficult to imagine, to be conveyed. 
  • "Rehabball": In this project, a virtual reality rehabilitation game was developed by students under the direction of Prof. Dr. Fahmi Bellalouna at the VR Lab of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics to support patients with hand injuries in performing physiotherapeutic exercises in a playful way. By picking up a virtual ball, converting it to the correct color, and then throwing it at a target of that color, the user performs specific therapeutic hand movements with varying degrees of difficulty.
  • "Super Nubibus 1834" is a mixed-reality balloon ride over historic Karlsruhe, a development from the Faculty of Computer Science and Business Information Systems. Users actually stand in a balloon basket, very much like in a real balloon ride. Travel altitude and direction are influenced by virtual firing of the burner and virtual wind and provide a special experience due to the bird's eye view. The audience can follow the visual experiences of the balloonists simultaneously via a ground projection.

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Press and Communication
Holger Gust

Tel.: +49(0)721 925-1016
pkspam prevention@h-ka.de