VR Diplo

Virtual reality

The Diplodocus Lives!

Time-travel glasses bring visitors into the world of the dinosaurs

Visitors of the Senckenberg Nature Museum in Frankfurt need strong nerves: a full-grown long-necked dinosaur comes very close to them when it stretches its head forward as far as possible to see who is watching it. Fortunately, the colossus is only a few inches away virtually. A pair of glasses bring the dinosaur to life using virtual reality technology and let the visitors travel back in time to this dinosaur in as real a form as possible, as well as the rest of the dinosaur-hall too.

What did they look like? How did they move? What surroundings did they live in? Dinosaurs fascinate children as well as adults. The new time-travel glasses allow visitors to the Senckenberg Nature Museum to look at the prehistoric giant as if it were standing alive in the museum all the way back in eras long ago. In a few moments the dinosaur hall is transformed into a jungle that Pterosaurs sail through and in which a Diplodocus longus trudges curiously. The project was developed and implemented together with the time-based media department of the Mainz University of Applied Sciences.

To make the time-travel glasses look realistic, each eye only perceives half of the integrated screen, creating the illusion of depth, or a so-called three-dimensional image. When your head is turned, this is also implemented in the virtual world, so that a corresponding image section becomes visible – just like in reality. Some practice is required as the first time you use it, you may feel slightly dizzy. Therefore, visitors can use the primeval glasses while sitting to enjoy the experience. The application was developed by Alexander Oster, together with his supervising professor Michael Orthwein as part of his master’s thesis at the Mainz University of Applied Sciences in the department of time-based media.

The Digital VR-Journey is available daily from 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. on the second floor of the Senckenberg Museum. The price for this experience is 2€ however students from schools and universities are only charged 1€.