Emerging Technologies

Birdly

Birdly is an installation that explores the experience of a bird in flight. It tries to capture the mediated flying experience with several methods. Unlike a common flight simulator, users do not control a machine. Instead, they embody a bird, the Red Kite. To evoke this embodiment, the system mainly relies on sensory-motor coupling. Participants control the simulator with their hands and arms, which directly correlate to the wings and the primary feathers of the bird. Those inputs are reflected in the flight model of the bird and displayed physically by the simulator through nick, roll, and heave movements.

Visualized through a head-mounted display (Oculus Rift), the entire scener is perceived in the first-person perspective of a bird. To intensify the embodiment, the system includes additional sonic, olfactoric, and wind feedback. Participants perceive only the roaring of the wind and the flaps of the wings. The olfactoric feedback is based on the locations the bird traverses in the scenery and ranges from the scent of a forest to soil and several other wilderness odors. A fan creates a headwind to simulate the bird's speed.

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Max Rheiner
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste

Fabian Troxler
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste

Thomas Tobler
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste

Thomas Erdin
Zürcher Hochschule der Künste