The Holocube Brings Virtual Reality Experience Closer to Tandon Students

At the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, virtual reality (VR) has become a trending research topic for students. A new a virtual reality experience room at Bern Dibner Library – The Holocube – was built so that students could gain experience with current virtual and augmented reality applications.

Inspiring creative ideas to integrate AR and VR technology for NYU students

A large variety of educational and recreational games are available to be played in the Holocube, including Tandon-made applications. VR film Grandpa’s Reef, created by Alum Sara Camnasio ’18, transports viewers to a healthy, vibrant coral reef. Relevant Motion, a venture from professors and students in the Integrated Digital Media program, utilizes motion capture technology with a virtual reality platform in occupational therapy.

Holocube VR console hardware lit up by blacklights.
Inside the Holocube. Source: Bern Dibner Library IT.

Making the room an experience in itself

I was asked to create an IT sandbox room by the librarians here. I did some research and found that all the sandbox rooms around the country, in different colleges/universities, were all the same… a piece of VR equipment with a mask in a plain room.

I decided that I wasn’t going to follow that cookie cutter pattern but instead make the room an experience in itself.

– Scott Broussard, IT Services Manager at NYU’s Bern Dibner Library.

The name “Holocube”, Scott relates, refers to the “cube” shape of the room and the “hologram” aspect that comes to mind when he thinks of virtual reality. The space design, with blacklight accent lighting (which users can opt to turn off) and the acoustic tile mosaic, is a fun departure from the average library collaborative space.

Broussard and his team produced a promo video [YouTube Video] highlighting the space’s features.

Equipment and Reservations

The room is currently equipped with the HTC Vive Virtual Reality system. A large variety of educational and recreational games are available to be played in the room.

The Holocube is located on the 4th floor of  Bern Dibner Library, NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

Reservations are now available on LibCal. Each student can reserve a 45-min session for a maximum of 3 people.

Before reserving the room, students are required to take an online training session which provides essential information such as room usage policies and equipment instructions.