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Department of Geography Geographic Information Visualization and Analysis (GIVA)

Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE)

Our CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) is a room-sized, stereoscopic 3D projection system projected over three walls. Because it is three-walls (instead of six, which would be a fully immersive CAVE), this type of rooms are also called 'Caverns'.

In our Cavern, the three projectors display high-resolution images through a mirrored system onto the three associated walls surrounding the viewer. A camera position tracking system tracks the viewer's location as well as head orientation real-time adapting the display perspective to it. Through additional means, it is also possible to track a viewer's wrists, ankles, hips etc., allowing various input functions to be mapped on the human viewer’s natural movements, and e.g., simulate walking or control an 'avatar'. This way, users can explore virtual worlds naturally by walking and interacting with your hands to manipulate objects. Altogether the CAVE delivers a highly interactive and immersive experience in virtual spaces.

The GIVA CAVE is located at the University of Zurich's Irchel campus, in the Geography department (room Y25-J87, tel: +41 44 635 52 37). The lab has been put into operation in Fall 2014.

A participant wearing the mobile EEG system in our cave automated virtual environment

Technical Specifications

Projection system on 3 Walls

  • 3x NEC NP-U310W Projectors
  • Widescreen Ultrashort Throw
  • 1 server - 2 client system
  • Resolution: native 1280x 800 pix
  • max 1600x 1200 pix
  • Refresh Rate: 120 Hz
  • lamp type: 280W AC
  • Audio 10W speaker

Workstation: Boxx Apexx 4

  • Intel Core i74960x (3.6 Ghz)
  • 16 GB RAM, x64 processor
  • Nvidia GeForce Quadro K6000
  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Software: Worldviz Vizard
  • PPT Camera Tracking software

Stereo Glasses Motion Tracker

  • Battery: 350mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery.
  • Maximum of 6 hours (with low intensity mode)
  • Intelligent sleep mode after 30sec
  • Active LED system
  • Shutter glasses
  • Amount: 10
  • radio frequency synchronization
  • Battery: up to 75 hours
  • Automatic power-off

Camera Position Tracking System

  • 6 Cameras for optical tracking
  • Calibration Ring (in the closet)
  • control via PPT Camera Tracking Software

Wireless Interaction Wand

  • LED System:
  • Passive & Active (PPT Marker ID)
  • Compatible with TrackD, VRPN, and
  • WorldViz native PPT protocol
  • Battery endurance 8hrs
  • Degrees of Freedom 6 (X, Y, Z, yaw, pitch, roll)
  • latency 20ms

Canvas specs

  • Screen height: 2702 mm
  • Screen width: 3000 mm
  • Projection: 3x 3120 mm (wide) x 1950 mm (tall)

3dRudder Foot Motion Controller

  • VR Devices Compatibility:
  • HTC Vive, Oculus Rift / S, Pico Neo / 2, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality etc.
  • Size: 34 x 34 x 7,2 cm
  • Weight: 2.7 kg


  • Unity
  • MiddleVR
  • PPT Studio
  • Experiments in Virtual Environments (EVE)
  • World Vizard



  • CAVE Projection System

    The complex construction of the CAVE System consists of three screens (3.1 meters wide x 2.7 meters tall) and three associated ceiling mounted projectors.

  • Cave Tracking System

    Screenshot of the tracking system monitor, which displays the camera tracking of the shutter glasses (1) and of the wand control device (3) in real-time.

  • Using wireless interaction wand to interact with virtual environments

    Using wireless interaction wand to interact with virtual environments.

  • CAVE Cameras

    Six cameras placed at the different ceiling corners track the positions and heading directions of wand.

  • CAVE interactive foot motion controller

    A participant uses the interactive foot motion controller to walk in virtual environments. Walking with the foot pedal can effectively reduce motion simulation in virtual environments.