AmiSim: Facilitating a Virtual Reality Tour

A virtual reality tour simulating existing physical spaces and enabling users to navigate in the virtual world in order to extract information

AmiSim is a framework that simulates existing physical spaces enabling users to navigate in the virtual world in order to extract information. The system offers an immersive user experience giving users the sense that they were there, although their physical presence is not necessary.

ICS-FORTH’s Ambient Intelligence (AmI) Facility has been used as a case study for the creation of a virtual reality tour with AmiSim. During the virtual tour, the system allows users to extract information through digital interactive installations, integrated in the virtual environment in accordance with their physical location while creating a realistic and immersive user experience.

Indicative interactive and non-interactive applications are embedded in the virtual environment in order to provide visitors further information. Such applications are:

  • Media Gallery, an interactive system that presents a grid of multimedia content related to highlighted landscapes and destinations of Crete that allows interaction through distance using hand gestures.
  • Be There NOW! allows multiple users to view themselves within digital landscapes, works of art, etc.



The system employs a head mounted VR headset (Oculus Rift) for rendering virtual worlds stereoscopically. In addition, a special lightweight camera capable of full hand articulation tracking (LeapMotion) is included. Alternatively, motion controllers (Oculus Touch) can be used as an additional means of interaction, providing a more precise albeit more obtrusive medium. Finally, a Kinect One sensor is a complementary camera employed for embedding users’ figures in the virtual environment via user tracking and background subtraction.


Target domains

AmiSim is suitable for Cultural Heritage Institutions and museums, while it makes virtual spaces and exhibits accessible even for people with motor skills disorders. However, it can be successfully used in the field of education as a supplementary educational tool during the teaching process. At the same time, this system is designed to simulate the working environment, aiming at vocational education and training. Finally, it would be a useful tool in the field of trade and advertising with the aim of promoting products.


Temporary Installations