VR MultiSense – Feel it, before you build it!

Multisensory experience
© Fraunhofer IBP
Multisensory experience - augmented reality coupled with virtual reality.

Property owners are often unable to fully assess the effects of lighting, heating systems, windows, acoustic elements, etc. in their homes. Making an evaluation on the basis of figures is complicated enough among experts from various trades as they coordinate their work but virtually impossible for non-experts. Traditional means, such as plans or even high-end renderings, are not sufficient to convey or coordinate the effects of building components or systems. This is where “VR MultiSense” - a tool for multisensory experiences - comes into play. It allows people to experience the difference between good and poor thermal comfort, between good and poor acoustic environments, between glare and shade, etc. with all their senses and to understand how they interact with each other. Making complex decisions is much easier when they are based on real experiences.

Project goals

The aim of the project is to achieve an interactive experience of building physics effects in the digital twin. Through immersive impressions, users can feel comfort and discomfort. Planning data, simulation results and databases are transferred to a virtual environment and linked via sensors/actuators to different Fraunhofer IBP causal models. VR MultiSense thus makes it possible for people to experience the virtual and real effects of products by innovatively coupling simulations and building systems in the fields of light, heat, sound, air flow and air quality. The combination of virtual with real actuators and sensors enables interaction with these actuators via the VR environment. In this way, various causal models can be controlled, calculated and simulated, and virtual and real results displayedx1. The entire Fraunhofer IBP expertise is brought together and made tangible in this tool, thus simplifying decision-making processes for planners and customers early on in a project. Besides lowering costs, the amount of customer complaints and building damage is also minimized.

Current project status

The combination of real product and simulation data is unique and supplies reliable information as a basis for making decisions. Especially for builders, architects, planners, construction companies and real estate businesses, but also for consultants, DIY stores, retailers, manufacturers and product developers, VR MultiSense provides completely new interaction possibilities. For example, different façade concepts can be experienced by simulating and comparing acoustic and thermal properties. Up till now, sample façades are prepared in larger construction projects for this, but these does not make it possible to “physically” experience the principal function of the building envelope.

A patent application for the technology has already been filed. Cooperations are currently being established with product manufacturers who want to virtually sample their building products. Please contact us if you are interested in a virtual sampling cooperation. Feel it before you build it!

Visualization of data in VR.
© Fraunhofer IBP
Visualization of artificial and daylight simulation data in VR.
Possible user navigation in VR MultiSense
© Fraunhofer IBP
Possible user navigation and integration of further technical information/databases.
Hybrid mock-up with thermal display
© Fraunhofer IBP
Hybrid mock-up with thermal display and KNX interface for coupling to VR.