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Virtual Reality at Marian University Library

Selected Software

One of the objectives for our virtual reality project is to encourage students to explore the technology in a self-paced, unmediated space, providing a fun and engaging medium for students to interact with emerging technology in the library. It will position the library as a campus destination for the exploration of new technology, while strengthening the connection between classroom instruction and the library by building on concepts introduced in various classes across the curriculum.

The software applications (apps) selected for use include a mix of educational based programs as well as recreational content for users to access an evolving type of technology they would not be likely to experience otherwise.

Most of the software used in the virtual reality program comes from two main providers, Oculus & Steam, both providers and distributors of virtual reality applications or programs. In some cases, independent programs will be added in consultation with Marian University faculty. 

Installed VR Software / Apps

  • Art Plunge - Art Plunge is a gallery where you can get the feeling of being inside famous paintings. This is a short but sweet experience featuring VR interpretations of the following five artworks: Mona Lisa, Starry Night, The Birth of Venus, The Creation of Adam and Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window.
  • Dreams of Dali - Enjoy the remarkable marriage of art and technology in “Dreams of Dali”, a virtual reality experience from The Dali Museum (St. Petersburg, FL), as you explore Salvador Dali's 1935 painting “Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet's ‘Angelus’.” Immerse yourself in the world of the Surrealist master like never before in this encounter, venturing into the towers, peering from them to distant lands and discovering surprises around every corner. This award-winning VR experience has garnered visitor acclaim, online praise and international recognition through a multitude of industry awards, including the prestigious Cannes Cyber Lion GOLD; a Webby People's Voice award; and a Facebook Silver award for Innovation, among others.
  • flyingshapes - Next Generation VR CAD - Experience VR CAD, a new way of creating your digital models for industrial design and architecture. Enjoy sketching and concept modeling in 3D space by simply moving the controllers in your hands. Design professional products with this intuitive CAD tool specifically tailored to virtual reality.
  • The Night Cafe: A VR Tribute to Van Gogh - The Night Cafe is an immersive virtual reality environment that allows you to explore the world of Vincent van Gogh first hand. Take a moment to enjoy his iconic sunflowers in three dimensions or walk around the chair he painted in his bedroom to see it from another angle. Step into the vivid colors straight from his palette.
  • Ollie - Ollie is a VR animation tool designed for beginners in 3D animation. Ollie introduces key concepts in animation to new animators in a highly visual way, making the animation process feel playful, approachable, and encouraging. Ollie is the best way for beginners to start animating in 3D.
  • The Raven VR - The Raven VR is an audio visual experience for Oculus Rift based on Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" with Art by Thomas Pasieka, Code by Eric Liga, Music by Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) and read by Barry Carl. Enjoy a reading of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" while experiencing, through Virtual Reality, an artistic and musical impression of his work.
  • SENS VR - SENS VR is the first virtual reality game inspired by a comic. You play as a man lost in a maze of strange laws. What is he looking? Where are you going ? To accomplish this rite of passage, you will need observational skills and imagination. Follow the arrows of a thousand forms, obvious or hidden, under graphical illusions. Surprised by a mirage, carried away by a storm, flying over endless cities, get lost and find your way to the end, but not without questions. The experience consists of 3 sections of about 10 minutes each.
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum "Beyond The Walls" - Go Beyond the Walls, a virtual reality experience that puts users directly in the museum’s galleries of the Smithsonian American Art Museum! Beyond the Walls blends photoreal imagery of artworks from SAAM’s collection with augmented elements to let users interact with and learn about the museum's artwork.
  •  Tilt Brush by Google - Paint in 3D space! Great for an initial exploration of virtual reality.

  • I Am A Man - "The “I Am A Man VR Experience” gives people an experience of history in a way that provides a better and more personal understanding of the struggles of these marginalized people. The VR experience allows one to literally walk in the shoes of the people who fought for freedom and equality during the civil rights era. Most importantly, this project gives users a deeper awareness of their struggle. Using historical film and photographs, along with voice narrations of actual Civil Rights participants, the project falls along the lines of a new type of interactive-documentary experience."
  • Dementia Yn Fy Nwylo I / First Hand - "Dementia is a largely hidden condition affecting many of us as we grow older, with friends and family supporting unconditionally. This experience takes you on a journey through four different scenarios that will broaden your understanding of living with dementia. The project was commissioned by Gwynedd Council and funded by the Welsh Government Cymraeg 2050 scheme and Arloesi Gwynedd. "
  • Notes on Blindness - In 1983, after decades of steady deterioration, John Hull became totally blind. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began documenting his experiences on audio cassette. These original diary recordings form the basis of this interactive non-fiction narrative using new forms of storytelling to explore a cognitive and emotional experience of blindness.
  • Testimony - "Testimony is an interactive documentary for virtual reality that shares the stories of five survivors of sexual assault and their journey to healing. Beyond just a film, Testimony is an advocacy platform to allow the public to bear witness to those who have been silenced. Despite persistent victim-shaming and the discounting of their experiences, survivors are increasingly coming forward, empowering one another to become agents of change and hope. Testimony is an interactive investigation that aims to tackle the obstacles women and men still need to overcome in order to report assault and confront the legal system. "
  • The Body VR -The Body VR is an educational virtual reality experience that takes the user inside the human body. Travel through the bloodstream and discover how blood cells work to spread oxygen throughout the body. Enter one of the billions of living cells inside our body and learn how the organelles work together to fight deadly viruses.
  • BrainVis - "BrainVis is an educational demo / proof of concept of visualizing and interacting with real neuroimaging data (*.trk, NIFTI), such as fiber rendering like these hairy brain images that you can for example see on Muse's "the 2nd law" album cover, or NIFTI volumes (lesion masks, labels, T1 MRI)."
  • Medical Realities - "Medical Realities is an award-winning Virtual Reality education platform for medical students, surgical trainees, surgeons, and health care professionals. Our mission is to revolutionize surgical training across the globe." Not Currently Available as of 11/19/21
  • Sharecare VR - "Sharecare VR is a real-time simulation of the human body. Sharecare VR allows anyone to freely navigate and explore an anatomically accurate 3D model of the human body, its organs, and their natural function. Visualize how your body works. Explore organs and systems in a fully immersive 3D environment. Customize physiology and simulate diseases. Personalize the human body to represent YOU. The unprecedented power of Sharecare VR allows customization to display diseases in varying states of severity. By adding treatments, Sharecare VR helps visualize and understand medical options."
  • Wonderful You - "Academy award nominee Samantha Morton presents an interactive virtual reality experience, immersed inside the womb. WONDERFUL YOU uses the latest scientific research to reveal remarkable stories from the development of your senses; Touch, Taste, Smell, Sound and Sight. Meet your unborn self. Tickle your feet, play sounds in the womb and release odours into the amniotic fluid. A few weeks before you are born you can smell what your mother can smell, taste what your mother tastes and you now have a memory for music. And as you spend most of the time asleep, music becomes part of your dreams."
  • Al Zubarah - It covers the remains of a walled coastal town that once ranked as one of the Gulf’s most important pearl diving and trading centers with links extending to the Indian Ocean. The fort houses a visitor’s center. According to UNESCO, Al Zubarah was one of a long line of prosperous trading towns around the coast in what is present day Qatar. UNESCO said “Al Zubarah bears a unique testimony to the human interaction with both the sea and the harsh desert environment of the region. Pearl divers’ weights, imported ceramics, depictions of dhows, fish traps, wells and agricultural activity show how the town’s development was driven by trade and commerce, and how closely the town’s inhabitants were connected with the sea and their desert hinterland.”
  • Anne Frank House VR - "The award winning Anne Frank House VR offers a unique and emotional insight into these two years. Experience the world-famous Secret Annex in a never before seen way. Travel back to the years of the Second World War and wander through the rooms of the Annex that housed the group of 8 Jewish people as they hid from the Nazis. Immerse yourself in Anne’s thoughts as you traverse each faithfully recreated room, thanks to the power of VR, and find out what happened to the Annex’ brave inhabitants."
  • DOMUS V.R. - "You are welcome to visit a part of the Roman Empire! DOMUS will allow you to walk through a house of Ancient Rome while listening to information about each locality of the building. Developed by the team of archaeologists from the Laboratory for Roman Provincial Archeology of the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil), DOMUS is a complete cyber-archaeological educational application. You will learn about Roman architecture, economy, religion and food!"
  • Google Earth VR - "The world has so many beautiful and amazing places to visit. If we're lucky, we're able to travel and see a few of them. But even the most active travelers can only see a fraction. What if we could see them all? Ten years ago, Google Earth began as an effort to help people everywhere explore our planet. And now, with more than two billion downloads, many have. Today, we are introducing Google Earth VR as our next step to help the world see the world. With Earth VR, you can fly over a city, stand at the top of the highest peaks, walk along new streets, and even soar into space. Now, at 196.9 million square miles, we know the world is pretty big, so we’ve made it easy to find great places to visit. Earth VR comes with cinematic tours and hand-picked destinations that send you to the Amazon River, the Manhattan skyline, the Grand Canyon, the Swiss Alps, and more."
  • MasterWorks: Journey Through History - "Travel to three continents and visit some of the world's most amazing places that span over 3000 years of human history. Discover the fate of the ancient capital of Thailand, the mysteries of a pre-Incan temple in the Peruvian Andes, the astonishing Native American cliff dwellings of Colorado, and the monumental stone carvings of Mt Rushmore in South Dakota. The MasterWorks Museum transports you to four fully explorable environments where you can collect artifacts and learn from archaeologists and scientists as you unravel the mysteries of who built these amazing places and learn about the challenges they face today in a rapidly changing climate."
  • Nefertari: Journey to Eternity - "In Egypt's legendary Valley of the Queens lies Queen Nefertari's tomb, one of the modern world's most detailed windows into ancient Egyptians' journey towards the afterlife. Now, state-of-the-art technology has made it possible to digitally scan Nerfertari's tomb with millimeter accuracy. For the first time ever, step inside the fabled tomb and immerse yourself in the story of its art, history, construction, and mythology through interactive elements."
  • Rapid Fire: a brief history of flight - "Rapid Fire is a brief journey through the history of aviation — as an airshow you could never see in real life. Witness the Wright Flyer’s first leap, dodge bullets from a WWI fighter, get buzzed by the leading-edge F22 Raptor fighter jet, and be nearly engulfed by the world’s largest plane!"
  • Sky VR: Hold the World - "Sky’s virtual reality experience, Hold the World, offers the unique opportunity of a one-on-one audience with Sir David Attenborough. The ground-breaking interactive experience transports you from the comfort of your home to London’s Natural History Museum, where you can get your hands on rare specimens from its world-famous collection as you go behind the scenes to explore areas usually closed to the public. "

  • Blocks - "Blocks lets you easily create 3D objects in virtual reality. Using six simple tools, you can bring your applications to life, create a volumetric masterpiece, or simply let your imagination run wild. Get inspired by others’ creations or publish your own to to inspire the world around you. No matter your modeling experience, you’ll create beautiful 3D objects in no time."
  • BrainVis - BrainVis is an educational demo / proof of concept of visualizing and interacting with real neuroimaging data (*.trk, NIFTI), such as fiber rendering like these hairy brain images that you can for example see on Muse's "the 2nd law" album cover, or NIFTI volumes (lesion masks, labels, T1 MRI).
  • Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars: Dr. Aldrin is an American astronaut best known for piloting the Lunar Module on the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, and one of the first men to set foot on the moon. While it was a historic achievement, he wants his legacy to include laying the groundwork for a permanent human settlement on Mars, and he has a plan. In Buzz Aldrin: Cycling Pathways to Mars, journey with Dr. Aldrin from his landing site on the moon to Mars as shows you first hand his plan for inhabiting the Red Planet.
  • Calcflow - Everything starts with the math. Are you ready to see the third dimension of mathematics? Calcflow features intuitive ways for you to understand and share with your friends the complexities of three dimensional mathematical functions. Whether you want to edit our example functions or input your own, immerse yourself in beautiful graphs!
  • DatavizVR - Who says data visualization has to be boring? Have you ever wanted to see your data in real 3D? Imagine going inside your data and viewing it from any angle, manipulating any aspect of your data visualization with simple hand gestures. Now you can, in true “Minority Report” fashion with DatavizVR.
  • Exploring the Universe From Antarctica - Exploring the Universe from Antarctica takes users on a journey from the South Pole into outer space in efforts to better understand high-energy neutrinos and the research that takes place surrounding them at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. Take the role of an IceCube scientist who has the ability to travel deep into space to seek out the source of a high energy neutrino that passes through the IceCube detection array.
  • InMind VR - InMind is a short scientific adventure with arcade elements designed for the Oculus VR. Submerge into the microworld and experience the miracles of the human mind.
  • Mission: ISS - Take a trip into orbit and experience life on board the International Space Station! In this Emmy-nominated simulation, learn how to move and work in zero-gravity using Touch controllers. Dock a space capsule, take a spacewalk, and let real NASA astronauts guide you on the ISS through archival video clips.
  • Nanome - Imagine a future where chemistry and the nano-scaled world are no longer difficult to understand. Imagine having the ability to build your own molecular structures out of thin air or explore the intricacies of a DNA strand or understand what medicine looks like at the molecular level.
  • NASA's Exoplanet Excursions - Take a guided journey through the amazing TRAPPIST-1 star system, known to be the home of 7 Earth-size exoplanets orbiting a star that is only a little larger than Jupiter. This experience is based on the best current understanding of what these worlds could be like given their sizes, densities, and proximity to their star. This experience was developed by the Communications and Education group at Caltech/IPAC and has been released in conjunction with the 15th anniversary of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope mission. Spitzer, along with a number of other observatories on Earth and in Space, has contributed to our understanding of the TRAPPIST-1 system. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Spitzer Space Telescope mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. Science operations are conducted at the Spitzer Science Center at Caltech.
  • NeuroExplorer - "Experience the evolution of the human brain from brainstem to neocortex and stimulate brain function with a virtual brain-machine interface, the Neuron Wand. This virtual reality experience is an educational tool for anyone to begin learning about the complex, but increasingly important field of neuroscience in this critical phase of humanity's evolution as we begin exploring brain-machine interfaces."
  • The New York Times: Apollo 11: As They Shot It - Fifty years ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. Follow in their footsteps, hold their camera and recreate their historic photographs for the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission.
  • This is Our Future, The Nature Conservancy - The numbers are shocking. Overexploitation of the world's fish stocks is growing at an alarming rate, killing vulnerable species like sharks and turtles and robbing the economies of small pacific island nations. But if we can see it, we can save it. The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation organization, is partnering with the tech community to bring deep learning to the deep seas to transform a multi-billion-dollar tuna industry and ultimately create a world where nature and people thrive. By mounting cameras on fishing boats and advanced machine learning that can track what is getting caught, we can prevent overfishing and help threatened and endangered sea life recover without putting fishermen out of work. Step into an immersive virtual reality art experience as you journey through gallery spaces and engage with poetic sculptures that communicate information through your actions.
  • Particulate - "Play with physics. Create and save dynamic scenes using an array of tools. Witness complex physical interactions and emergent behavior. PARTICULATE simulates millions of tiny particles using the massive parallel processing power of VR-capable graphics cards. Built using a new and fully-custom engine for high performance, PARTICULATE is a physics sandbox but also a fully-fledged creative tool."
  • Spheres - This three chapter interactive virtual reality journey uncovers the hidden songs of the cosmos. Space is not silent. It is full of sounds. We look to the stars to find our place in the Universe, but for the first time we listen to its music. From Writer/Director Eliza McNitt and Executive Producers Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel, this acclaimed experience premiered at Sundance and received the Grand Prize in VR at the Venice Film Festival.
  • WebbVR: The James Webb Space Telescope Virtual Experience - "Explore the universe like never before in the fully immersive WebbVR experience. The James Webb Space Telescope and its infrared-light perception of the cosmos are simulated using NASA data, along with bonus information and interactive learning experiences."
  • Wrench: Engine Building Demo - "Wrench: Engine Building Demo is a free demo for Rift users. Players will work through assembling an inline four cylinder engine. This demo is a small slice of Wrench, a much larger game coming to early access soon. Find Wrench on the oculus store here: Wrench encourages players to explore and solve problems on their own. This demo provides high level guidance but will not narrate a bolt by bolt install procedure. Instead, players read through help embedded in each part and work through the assembly process in their own way."
  • ENGAGE - ENGAGE is a education and training platform that seeks to transform how people share ideas and teach lessons to each other globally by harnessing the power of virtual reality technologies such as the Oculus Rift & HTC Vive.
  • Noda - We live in 3D. Our thinking is patterned from this three dimensional world. Putting mental notes on paper or drawing diagrams on flat surfaces means a lot is lost in translation. With Noda use your spatial thinking and interact naturally with information. Shape your knowledge and Map your understanding. Noda maps have a simple structure: Shapes hold concepts - Links show relationships between them. This format supports a wide range of topics for anything where relationships between concepts is important.
  • rumii - Step into your virtual reality office or classroom. rumii can be used across virtual reality headsets and desktops for collaboration, classes and meetings. Great for remote teams, education and digital nomads.
  • Teacher's Lens Beta - Teacher's Lens Beta is an Oculus Launch Pad winning project that strives to mitigate unconscious bias in classroom education. This is the first virtual reality app to translate the Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT) into a game play simulation. Future iterations will include game training modules using proven methods in immersive experiences shown to reduce social biases. Decades of research have revealed that teacher expectations on student directly correlate to student performance with long term impacts on education, career, and overall life trajectory. Unfortunately, research also shows that teachers systematically have lower expectations of female and students of color. When these biases are left unchecked, consequences impact the STEM pipelines and "School to Prison" Pipelines. Traditional methods of diversity training have been largely proven to be ineffective. Debias VR believes VR technology has capacity more effectively approach measurable, de-biasing solutions.
  • Unimersiv - "Unimersiv is the largest platform for VR educational experiences. Our Gear VR app includes multiple field trips (from the ISS to the Acropolis of Athens) that will let you learn using Virtual Reality."
  • Aircar -A simple immersive flying experience built for VR.
  • Bear Island - Bear Island is the story of a young black bear, named Swift, who is searching for a perfect fishing spot. But Swift is not the only one looking for food, she faces dangerous competition from older bears and hungry wolves - it’s up to you to help her negotiate the waterways and find a safe hunting ground. Created by BBC Earth Productions using real-life footage.
  • Beat Saber - "Beat Saber is a unique VR rhythm game where your goal is to slash the beats (represented by small cubes) as they are coming at you. Every beat indicates which saber you need to use and also the direction you need to match. All the music is composed to perfectly fit the handmade levels."
  • Epic Roller Coasters - "In Epic Roller Coasters you'll get the same feeling of real roller coasters in places and situations that probably you will never have in the real life! You'll find four different modes: Classic is where you, your family or friends can take a classic roller coaster ride. Shooter mode is the perfect combination of two amazing universes! Roller coasters and shooting! You can have a completely different view of the ride with the slow motion feature that will also help you to aim over high speeds and get more hits! Race mode: take the control of the cart on your own time or fast as possible challenging your friends for the best score!"
  • Go For A Walk - "Go For a Walk is a musical VR experience emphasizing non-linearity, user interaction, and making chill beats! Unlike other musical games and experiences, Go For a Walk has no set beginning or end. Instead the musical environment evolves as you engage your surroundings, creating a dynamic arrangement through natural VR interaction. In other words, point at everything you see and listen to the nice sounds!"
  • Guided Meditation VR - "Meditation made simple & visual. Bring peace, joy, and calm back into your daily life with the virtual relaxation app Guided Meditation VR. Find your happy place.™"
  • InMind - InMind is a short scientific adventure with arcade elements designed for the Oculus VR. Submerge into the microworld and experience the miracles of the human mind.
  • Jigsaw 360 - Relax while completing beautifully detailed spherical jigsaws. The new way to experience a traditional puzzle. Suitable for all ages with between 8 and 162 pieces. Choose from 10 scenes or add your own. Only possible in VR. Find yourself stood inside the jigsaw. Use your tracked controllers to precisely place your pieces as you build the spherical puzzle. Rotate the jigsaw and scene to see it from different angles or simply walk around the jigsaw. Traditional flat jigsaws are also included.
  • Rec Room - Rec Room is the best place to hang out with friends from all around the world! Play intense multiplayer games like Paintball, Laser Tag, Quest, and Rec Royale, or just chill with friends in the park. There are thousands of player-created game and event rooms for you to discover, with new ones added daily. You can even build your own rooms with your friends. Rec Room is cross platform and free, so come and join the fun!
  • Remembering - Remembering tells a story through sound, music and abstract shapes. It is a slow-paced, poetic journey about the beauty of conception and the trauma of being born. By building a world based on sound instead of visuals we have created a place that relies on association rather than observation. During this almost lucid dream-like experience, you have limited control, and your gaze controls what you hear. Part experiment, part art project, with Remembering we are researching the physical connotations and impact of sound in VR. Embodiment, or the sense of physically being somewhere, can be heavily influenced by sound. By connecting associative sounds to various forms of physical impact, we explore how sound can play a bigger role in the sense of being ‘here’.
  • Spheres - This three chapter interactive virtual reality journey uncovers the hidden songs of the cosmos. Space is not silent. It is full of sounds. We look to the stars to find our place in the Universe, but for the first time we listen to its music. From Writer/Director Eliza McNitt and Executive Producers Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel, this acclaimed experience premiered at Sundance and received the Grand Prize in VR at the Venice Film Festival.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home Virtual Reality - Your time to swing through New York like Spider-Man has finally arrived! In breathtaking virtual reality, you’ll finally have the chance to scale and swing from the highest towers in Manhattan. Just pick one of four Spider-Man suits and you’ll be launched into the clouds… but keep your eyes and ears peeled, a mysterious and colossal enemy is waiting. Only you have the power to find and confront New York’s latest attacker in this thrilling, swinging adventure. Based on the film, the Spider-Man: Far From Home VR Experience is a fast-swinging, thrill ride through the eyes of your favorite neighborhood Spider-Man.
  • Vader Immortal : Part 1 - "Step inside a galaxy far, far away with Vader Immortal: Episode I. You are a smuggler operating near Mustafar, the fiery world Darth Vader calls home. When you are unexpectedly pulled out of hyperspace, you find yourself uncovering an ancient mystery at the behest of the Sith Lord himself."
  • Vader Immortal: Episode II - "Continue your journey into the heart of Darth Vader's dark fortress in Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series - Episode II. With the fearsome Sith Lord as your guide, you'll perfect your lightsaber skills against terrifying new enemies, and master the Force as you discover the truth of an ancient mystery beneath the fiery surface of Mustafar. Starring Maya Rudolph, Vader Immortal is a canonical Star Wars experience created by ILMxLAB and Lucasfilm in collaboration with Oculus Studios."
  • Where Thoughts Go - "Discover the dreams, fears and secrets of others—and leave your own for others to find. In this award-winning social experience, human thoughts exist as sleeping creatures that can be awakened to reveal voice-recorded stories of other participants who were here before you. These anonymous stories are revealing and inspiring, encouraging introspection. To progress, you must leave your own stories behind for others to uncover."