Birdly is an installation which explores the experience of a bird in flight. It captures the mediated flying experience, with several methods. Unlike a common flight simulator you do not control a machine with joysticks, a mouse or thousands of buttons: you intuitively embody a bird, the Red Kite. To evoke this embodiment Birdly mainly relies on sensory-motor coupling. The participant can command the installation with arms and hands which directly correlates to the wings (flapping) 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...
Visualised through a Head Mounted Display (HMD) the participant is embedded in a virtual landscape where the users body is the body of a Red Kite. The whole scenery is perceived in the first person perspective of a bird. To intensify the embodiment we include additional sonic, and wind feedback. Soundwise you perceive only the roaring of the wind and the flaps of the wings. According to the speed of the bird the simulator regulates the headwind from a fan mounted infront of the user.
Birdly’s intuitive approach to flying, its full body immersion and the unique combination of custom Hard- and Software are unprecedented until this day.
Birdly is nominated by countless fans and Virtual Reality and Entertainment experts to be among the best and most exciting VR applications worldwide. Tested.com: "We strap on an Oculus Development Kit and mount Birdly, a full-motion virtual reality rig that simulates flying. It's one of the most awesome and intuitive VR experiences we've ever had, and we chat with Birdly's creators to learn how it works."
SOMNIACS.CO is closely linked to ZHdK (Zürich University of Art and Design) in Switzerland where several crew members of SOMNIACS teach and conduct research. The collaboration enables both - the university and the company - to push the boundary of creative production in the emerging filed of Virtual Reality.
The team behind Birdly founded a company called SOMNIACS SA in Zurich Switzerland to manage the demand for Birdly related information, products and services as well as to deploy next generation VR experiences.
SOMNIACS focuses on cutting edge Full Body Immersion Simulators and intuitive solutions for Immersive Telepresence.
During the last 12 months Birdly was shown in a series of events in the USA, Europe and India: e.g. at the Siggraph 2014 conference, swissnex San Francisco, the Sundance Film Festival 2015 or at this year’s SXSW - where Birdly was one of the four showcases demonstrating the power of Google Fiber. In May and June Birdly was part of the exhibition Sensory Stories: An Exhibition of New Narrative Experiences at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York.
Max Rheiner: Founder, Chairman and CTO
Michel Zai: CEO and Partner
Fabian Troxler: Co-Founder and Head of Interaction
Thomas Tobler: Co-Founder and Head of Mechanical Engineering
Simon Pfaff: Interaction Designer / Sound Designer
Dominik Stucky: Interaction Designer