Skip Navigation

Colloquium Details

Making Virtual Reality Visualization Real

Author:Bernd Hentschel RWTH Aachen University
Date:April 25, 2017
Location:220 Deschutes
Host:Hank Childs


Almost since day one, immersive visualization has been regarded a killer application for Virtual Reality (VR) technology. Yet, despite a number of interesting research approaches, it has yet to make the jump to widespread use. The creation and deployment of immersive data analysis environments, which actually add value over their desktop-based cousins remains an active field of research.

In this talk, I will give an overview over more than a decade of VR-based visualization research at RWTH Aachen University and its applications across multiple scientific domains. I will arrange examples according to four main factors, which we consider key to the eventual adoption of VR-based visualization and data analysis, namely: interactivity, integration, usability, and utility.

Against the backdrop of a number of application case studies - carried out in close collaboration with domain scientists - I will discuss the use of immersive user interfaces for interactive visualization. Based on these success stories I will argue that the investment into VR technology - small and large alike - is still justified and that there are still many interesting, yet unexplored opportunities, both in terms of research and application engineering.


Bernd Hentschel is a senior researcher with the Virtual Reality and Immersive Visualization Group, RWTH Aachen University, Germany. His research interests include the analysis of domain-specific features in large simulation data, parallel visualization algorithms, and immersive visualization. In his work, he closely collaborates with domain scientists in order to find new ways to leverage the benefits of virtual reality-based user interfaces for complex visual data analysis problems. Bernd holds an MSc degree in computer science (Dipl.-Inform.) and a PhD, both from RWTH. Contact him at