swissnex VR Space: a virtual tour through tech trends

swissnex brought Birdly to Brazil, a Swiss designed awarded full body flight simulator. The exhibition of the Birdly was part of the event “swissnex VR Space”, an afternoon dedicated to virtual reality experiences. 

Coupled with robotics and simulation technology, Birdly delivers an experience of flying like never before. Based on Swiss Design and Technical Perfection, unlike a common flight simulator that requires joysticks or buttons, Birdly offers a full-body VR fight experience where the pilots command their flight instinctively with arms and hands – movements correlated to the flapping of wings and manipulation of primary feathers for speed, altitude and navigation. Each input is reflected in the virtual flight processor and returned as physical feedback through nick, roll and heave movements.

Birdly was developed at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), IAD Interaction Design for the BirdLife center Switzerland in 2014. Early prototypes were demonstrated at high profile new media showcase events, such as the Sundance Film Festival and SXSW, garnering countless VR awards and media praise.

The event took place on the afternoon of May 23rd, in the lobby of swissnex Brazil’s office in Rio de Janeiro. 

Besides the flying experience with Birdly, swissnex VR Space gave a taste of other Brazilian VR technologies. MobContent, SuperUber and Limbiseen Lab (UFRJ) presented some of their projects and made it possible to try out other virtual reality experiences.

“City in Old Times” is a virtual reality app, developed by MobContent, specialised in the production of audiovisual and interactive content. Based on Virtual Reality, the app offers a journey through cities that don’t exist anymore. One version takes you through Rio de Janeiro in the past. Marcos Ferreira, the owner of MobContent and will be present to speak about the use of VR for cultural and educational purposes.

Based on the idea that emotions cannot be dissociated from our cognition, the Limbiseen Lab from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) is working on a project called Cognitive Explorers. It uses artifices like Virtual Reality, wearable sensors and art to map subtle emotions.

Gabriel Brasil from Limbissen was one of our guests and he told us about using the immersive experiences of virtual reality to generate subtle emotions not often observed in lab experiments.

SuperUber creates experiences that blend art, technology, architecture and design with a team of creative technologist, architects, designers, communicators, programmers and producers working from Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and San Francisco. Russ Rive, one of the founders of SuperUber, presented Future Shock, a documentary developed by nine people, using VR to provoke an immersive experience by narration that unites past, present and future to talk about the evolution of the planet – until it gets to the era of “Antropocera”, in which we live today.

Between the VR experiences, there was a lively panel discussion about trends and potentials in Virtual Reality.